09/10/2011 08:08 am ET | Updated Nov 10, 2011

Mary J. Blige Jewel Of Elul: Spiritual Light

Editor's note: There is a great Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days in the month of Elul to study and prepare for the coming high holy days. The time is supposed to challenge us to use each day as an opportunity for growth and discovery. On each of the 29 days of Elul, performer Craig Taubman posts a "jewel," or story, from some of today's most celebrated visionaries. Past contributors include President Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, Sarah Lefton, Eli Wiesel, Deepak Chopra, Ruth Messinger and Lady Gaga, among many others. Today's reflection comes from Mary J. Blige.

The seeking of spiritual light is gained through having faith and trust in God. Prayer provides the path, leading to inner strength and pushing us toward greater honesty with ourselves.

With honesty comes clarity, as we come to see the truth of our condition. We can then change what we can and accept what we can't.

Whatever it is that you have, you must make work for you. In this way, we keep moving toward the light. When we minimize our own talents, when we envy what others have, when we give in to despair, we choose darkness. When we do so, we should always remember this is a choice, it is not destiny.

The light is always there if we have the courage to seek it. And, with faith and trust in God, we need never seek it alone.

Mary J. Blige has six Grammy awards, seven multi-platinum records and 15 years of love from the public, critics and fellow artists.