My New Year’s meditation was focused on the Light. My prayer is to live in the Light, to be a light in my small part of the world, to refuse to allow any negativity into my mind or my soul. The daily news about the darkness in the world can be overwhelming: wars, mass killings, homelessness, police brutality, discrimination etc. My friend Tom, who visited at Christmas, had just come from a visit with his parents who had little to do but watch television. They lived in constant fear because the only world they were exposed to was on the television screen.

How to explain to them that there is so much good happening in the world? There are rescuers helping refugees when they arrive on shore, volunteers at soup kitchens, ministers to the homeless who walk the streets, healthy parents raising healthy children, people donating kidneys, and the list goes on.

Some news programs will show one little sequence about an act of kindness or someone who is making a difference and we tend to think that this is extraordinary. But extraordinary acts are taking place all over the world by ordinary people. I choose to focus on them and support their endeavors as much as I can.

The bottom line for me is that how we live our lives is a matter of choice. We choose how we respond. We choose if we are going to be self-centered or thoughtful and kind. We choose if we are going to be grateful. We choose if we will put the needs of others ahead of our own. And perhaps most importantly, we choose if we will allow fear to control us.

When I was coming out of a dark night and didn’t know what to think anymore or figure out how I would move forward, I began reading Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards. I read a different card every day. Some sample cards are: I am safe; it is only change. All is well in my world. I trust the process of life. I copied the sayings in my journal, brought the cards into work so I could be reminded all day. Even though I didn’t feel it or sometimes even believe it, I chose to live my life with these positive affirmations. They eventually became a litany arising in my thoughts on their own. It wasn’t an overnight success, far from it. But I slowly changed my thinking to echo my belief that I am a child of the Light, a child of the Universe.

Perhaps as children, some of us were subjected to dogma or images of God that were negative. Over time, we chose to let go of these ideas as we grew. These thoughts return to our minds and cause us to reject anything spiritual because of our previous negative experiences. But as adults, we can revisit what we were taught and seek clarity. The Light that created all life has not changed. We are the ones who can grow in wisdom and knowledge. As we go deeper into our souls and seek the Light that illumines all falsehoods, we can come to a new understanding of the Divine, a new understanding of Life and our place in this world.

Helen Rousseau is an interfaith minister and spiritual director. She can be reached at [email protected] Her website is

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