I’m still drinking that spiritual lemon water from last night. So my neshama (soul) is supposed to be great. Interesting. That’s what’s happening here. And I’m supposed to thank G-d for all the lemons. If you are completely confused, please read Lemon Water for Your Soul first then come back here.
I’ve been contemplating a long time what’s my part and what’s Hashem’s part. What’s the emotional work and self-development work and what’s just simple emuna?
I work with a gifted, intuitive healer, a transformation coach, a spiritual leader. I go on women’s retreats with her and see women breaking down from years of stifling pain. I hear women making huge life decisions as the result of the guided redemption process. I see lots and lots of healing tears. I think I see Growth.
On a personal level, I have a big stack of books on my piano right now on self-help topics – and those are just the ones I’m returning to their owners. I’ve read the books, I’ve internalized a LOT, I’ve done a LOT of work over the past years. I’ve sat in therapy (a very very good somewhat unconventional therapist), I’ve gone on retreats, I’ve bought programs, I’ve meditated, I’ve prayed, I’ve affirmed, I’ve journaled, and I’ve listed. I’ve cried – less than some people, more than others. I’ve even Laughter Yoga’d! I have NOT been sitting on my tush waiting for the storm to pass – I’ve been trying to learn how to dance in it.
But one thing I have not done nearly enough. Thank. I have not thanked G-d enough. Of course I have thanked Him for the miracles – when a complete stranger decided to write me a check for $1,000, when a huge judgment was overturned against me and I walked out with a completely impossible success, when my son came home from the hospital after brutal child abuse, when Rivka Malka asked me to work with her, when the rent gets paid every single month somehow, when my boys put their arms around each other or do a kind favor for each other. I have thanked Him for all that. But I’ve thanked Him on the edge of my seat, like I wasn’t expecting it, like I wasn’t worthy of it.
Now it’s time to thank Him for the lemons. All the stuff that rips my heart out, all the stuff that people pity me for, all the stuff that I pity myself for. Thank you Hashem that I have to drop my kids off three days a week and let them go be mothered by their father. Thank you Hashem that my first-grader isn’t in school. Thank you Hashem that my finances are terrifying. Thank you Hashem that my divorce is dragging on forever. Thank you Hashem that I do not have a life partner, or anyone older than seven to snuggle on the couch with at night. Thank you Hashem for this constant clenching tension. Thank you Hashem for the pressure of being a provider to my boys. Thank you Hashem that I can only lose 4 pounds in almost 2 months of living on dandelions and coconut oil. Thank you Hashem for whatever’s “wrong” in my body. Thank you Hashem for every time I fall short of what I want to be.
The other day after I spent a little time “feeling my feelings in my body” and wondering if I’m doing it right and wondering if it even helps anything, I checked a divorced women’s support group and someone mentioned how blessed she was to have found her amazing husband #2. I stopped worrying about what I was or wasn’t doing right in that moment and surrendered right then to Hashem’s blessings.
“Bless me!” I said out loud. I stopped trying to heal myself and know myself and grow myself, and I just let G-d be G-d. I just admitted that He’s got all the power here and with all my best effort, He’s going to have His way. “Bless me, Hashem!” I said again. And that moment of surrender rivaled all the revelation of a two-day workshop.
My Redemption Boss (haha, such a funny title, sounds like a tv show like Cake Boss, ha!), anyway, she told me herself, “These three-day retreats are just making space for one hour of face-time with Hashem.” We cry and we talk and we learn, but in the end, the results, the real transformation comes from that hour with Him. Sometimes it only has to be five minutes.
Thank you Hashem for all the things I can’t do by myself.