We all have areas within ourselves and our lives that may be bitter, coarse, and unpleasant. We are all surrounded by others who also possess their own flaws and faults. We may at times be on the ground, overwhelmed with feelings of depression, anger, anxiety, or fear.

These experiences have a purpose: to eventually expose the light of Hashem that they conceal. They aren’t meant to be ignored or thrown away; they are a source of light in potential.

We are put in this world to use every single part of our being for the service of Hashem – the areas where we are connected to Hashem together with the areas where we are still struggling to achieve that connection. If we leave parts of ourselves or our experiences out by ignoring them, denying that they exist, or by actively refusing to work on them, then we simultaneously cut ourselves off from the very light that we are meant to shine into the world.

It’s a s’gulah on Lag BaOmer to yearn that our eyes be opened. In Sefer T’hilim, David HaMelech says, “Uncover my eyes and I shall look at hidden things from Your Torah (T’hilim 119:18).

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn notes that the Hebrew word for uncover (“gal”) is composed of the same letters as “Lag.” Lag BaOmer has the power to reveal the truth and the specific light concealed within ourselves, those around us, and the world at large.

Interestingly, the neshamah is compared to a flame, as it says, “The soul of man is a candle of G-d” (Proverbs 20:27). Just as a flame continually moves upwards, toward Heaven, so too the soul struggles to reconnect with its Creator. Just as the flame’s essential purpose is to dispel the darkness and enable us to see the way, so too the soul shows the body in what direction to go, how to act, and what its true mission in life is.

The real m’durah of Lag BaOmer is thus really within us – our inner yearning to see the good within ourselves, others, and the world, to shine this light out, dispel the darkness, and enable us to see the way.

(Material was previously published on www.ShiratMiriam.com.)