This article is on the topic of FREEDOM which is an aspect of my passion statement and my mission: To Inspire Courage, Compassion, and the Embrace of Worth and Spirit for the FREEDOM to be Authentic, Worthy, and Creative.

Several years ago and for many months, I had a recurring dream that was both curious and enlightening. I am in a Nazi concentration camp, a prisoner amongst many others, dressed in the pajama type clothing. It is nighttime and for some reason we are not asleep in our beds. Instead, I am walking quite briskly around the yard, attempting to create some warmth in my body as a protection in the frigid night. The roaming light from the tower above cuts through the blackness on its mission to confirm my presence. In the dream, I am aware of the anticipation I feel in my body. Something is about to happen. And it does. Suddenly a solitary, large and bright light shines into our midst, the main gate to the yard opens, and a booming voice from behind the light yells: “You are free, come out, you are free.” I am both excited and cautious as I walk out toward the light.

While this story is no longer present in a dream for me, the vividness of its message remains in my memory. I have always felt a connection to the debilitating effects of human imprisonment in the concentration camps of World War II. In my work as a psychotherapist, I am interested in the story of Victor Frankl and how he, as a prisoner in the brutal environment of Auschwitz, realized the human need to find concrete meaning to human existence. My understanding is that for Frankl, even when the physical body is imprisoned, the mind can be free to perceive that one’s existence is worthwhile,

For me, the symbolism of a light shining on the path to freedom is meaningful. I often hear the desire for freedom from one of the partners who come for couples counselling. He or she states a need to leave the relationship to have this freedom. I hope that I shed light on this idea to confirm leaving as one option and the possibility of bringing other options out into the light to explore and consider. I believe that freedom includes responsibility to understand and accept the consequences of thought, feeling, and action.

You are amidst many who share respect for the right to a worthwhile existence. Shining the light on what you need to be requires a belief in your own worthiness, your intrinsic value. You are ready to be responsible in your desire for freedom and light. How do you describe the sensation, the physical and emotional presence of darkness, of imprisonment? Your fear of vulnerability and the pain of the shame of who you believe you are may hinder you from finding and using the words.

Perhaps you now realize that your attempts at survival to escape from the darkness have only imprisoned you more. Just as in my dream, you feel as a prisoner in the dark –  hopeless, anxious, overwhelmed or maybe even numb. However, you as well can still see the light when it shines and hear the invitation to freedom

You recognize the light because who you are is light, an ember of the Divine, Universal Light. With darkness throughout, you may question whether reviving the ember is possible or whether you are worth the reviving of the ember. Jabbing at it roughly is not necessary. Blowing gently on the ember as you do on a flicker of light at the bottom of a bonfire will suffice.

You know you have the help of the Spirit, spiritus, meaning breath or wind. Slowly and confidently, the ember enlarges and glows, offering the freedom of a unique experience for healing and connection. I invite you to appreciate your ember of the Divine, Universal Light, reflect it with others, and hear the voice of freedom that holds the light.