I am your best friend, your soulmate, your cheerleader, and your confidante. I’m sorry for also serving as your biggest critic, skeptic, and bully.
You have a friend who recently told you that she made a big mistake. She chose to turn away from her joy and energy in order to isolate herself from the world because she thought it was what she was supposed to do. She thought it was the right thing. She now sees- with her perfect hindsight- what a mistake she made and the person who suffered the most was her.
If something or someone gives you oxygen, don’t fool yourself into believing that you weren’t born to breathe. You Were Born To Breathe. Breathe deeply.
Core Question of Life for ‘Believers’: Does G-d want us to love, flourish, and be successful? It’s incredible to note that we would consider there is ever a time that the answer is no.
The answer is ALWAYS YES.
You should NOT take on suffering that no one asked you to take on and to presume that G-d would want suffering for you is an insult to your Creator. You were meant to have family, friends, and personal success.
This week’s Torah portion discusses the Patriarch, Yaakov, who works for his deceptive uncle, Lavan, for seven years so he can marry Lavan’s daughter, Rachel. Predictably, Lavan tricks Yaakov into marrying his older daughter, Leah. A week later, Yaakov marries Rachel after agreeing to work for Lavan for another seven years.
There are many striking observations in this narrative, but the one relevant to you is Yaakov’s character trait of persistence. He persists in his will to marry Rachel and will not be dissuaded. Yaakov persists in wrestling with an angel until he receives a blessing and persists in receiving a blessing from his father, Yitzchak, over Esav, his brother. Yaakov also persists in mourning for his son, Yosef, when he’s believed to be dead. He is criticized for this particular episode of persistence as life is meant to be experienced in the moment and we are tasked not to dwell on the negative.
The Pharoah of Egypt will soon ask an old Yaakov how old he is and Yaakov’s answer will be, “Few and hard have been the days of the years of my life”. We can understand how Yaakov would perceive his life this way (given all his suffering) and yet we learn that this response was inappropriate.
Life has its ups and downs. A friend recently commented that just like a heart monitor with its ups and downs, where there’s life, there are ups and downs. A flat line indicates death.
We are meant to have downs but those downs are not meant to be pervasive. We are expected to get up from our mourning.
It’s you and me until the end. We were born into this world alone and will die alone.
For as long as you are blessed to live this beautiful life, embrace it as the GIFT that it is. Know that the people in your life who expect you to suffer are not people who have your best interests at heart and should be judged with compassion and favor but their words need not be heeded.
With prayers that you honor yourself and your decisions until 120,