If you’re feeling disappointed this Chanukah, after lots of buildup beforehand, maybe it’s because you can’t find your hidden cruse of oil. Maybe you are a single, feeling lonely tonight; or a parent of very young children, wishing you could feel a little lonely again. Or maybe you’re an elderly person, missing that long-ago time when you were needed way too much.

Wherever we are in our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of what it takes to light up these long nights.

But it’s just hiding.

Within each of us is a small, pure and holy cruse of oil that looks like it can maybe light up only a tiny part of our lives. But in truth, it can light up our lives forever.

Sometimes things seem pretty dark, but as we’ve seen, just one candle’s flame can light up a dark room. The tiny cruse of oil within us just needs to be found, whenever it gets lost, so that it can get lit up—and brighten everything.

What can help us access the spiritual potential within us when it seems missing? What has helped you find it in the past when it’s gotten lost?

Spending time in nature?

Flowing with creative expression?

Learning about life?

Bringing joy or compassion to someone else?

These are all ways that can put us back in touch with our hidden cruse of oil, the part of us which is part of G‑d.

The G‑d whom we sometimes question is found whenever we reconnect with what is sacred, and experience its resonance in our deepest selves.

The moment we recognize our spiritual essence, it helps us feel closer to others, as all of our souls are linked together. And as our interconnectedness becomes clear, the layers of existential loneliness fade away like a mirage. Removing the blockages covering our souls also brings us empowerment, because as each blockage is lifted, we can connect more directly with the Soul of Souls, the source of all the energy in our universe.

Many influences throughout life can separate us from our spiritual essence. It can feel as if our soul has retreated, when it has gotten buried under layers of fear, anxiety, and even, sometimes, despair. In Rabbi Shais Taub’s wonderful book, G‑d of Our Understanding, he explains that addicts are people who cannot live with the disconnection from their spiritual essence. Addictions are used in order to take away the unbearable pain caused by blockages in the channel to the soul. Just a temporary abatement is considered worth it, although the pain returns afterward even more intensely. He also explains that, honestly, we are all addicts, just to greater or lesser degrees.

Even children who have been subjected to the worst defilement possible, of the most intimate kind—the abuse still could not reach into their wholly spiritual inner core. When a child’s trust is betrayed and innocence is destroyed overnight, the trauma cannot debase the child’s soul. The child’s pure essence can become buried beneath layers of filth, but it’s still there, waiting. And through great efforts, combined with divine compassion from other caring souls, it can again be found.

No matter how the Temple was defiled, one cruse of pure and untouched oil miraculously remained. Our inner core remains just as pure and holy as it was when it was first placed within us. So no matter what darkness each of us has experienced in our lives, great miracles can still happen, as our potential emerges.

Is that cruse of oil hiding from you? When we search in the right place, each one of us can unearth the hidden cruse of oil within ourselves, as well as within others. Utilizing this G‑d-given internal power, we are able to light up the dark nights, helping heal our world.