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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

Palestine - Israel Flags
Twenty-eight of my friends posted this awesome & poignant piece written by a young Muslim interfaith activist, Nadya Al-Noor.  In the piece called Palestinian terrorism and Muslim hypocrisy: An open letter, Al-Noor fails to mention a crucial reality in the terrorism that exists in Israel and what I would refer to as the Occupied Territories/Palestine.  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/palestinian-terrorism-and-muslim-hypocrisy-an-open-letter-from-a-muslim-woman/   
 
If you subjugate a people, you create a pressure cooker that leaves them angry & wounded. The longer it festers, the more they explode. 
 
Yes terrorism is wrong. And yet, I have NO problem understanding the growing violence and hatred.
 
I am happy that this writer clearly articulated a reasonable view point, put I also fear that if we keep negating the other side of the story, terrorism will continue to unleash it’s devastating consequences.
 
We have to be willing to explore why terrorism continues to destroy lives and then look for solutions to change that trajectory.  After many decades of war, violence, subjugation, and pain, it may take decades to alter our future. In this week’s Torah Portion, Shelach Lecha, God decides that the Israelites who were originally freed from slavery will need to die before the Israelites are allowed to enter the promise land. Essentially  God was saying that the old mentality needs to die out before really moving forward.

I do understand that the realities of history and how each of us perceive history is part of the challenge here. Yet, it is also time to realize that until Palestine and Palestinians stop being subjugated by Israel, terrorism will flourish. The devastating cycle will not end. Parents on all sides of this story, will bury their children too young.

Healing takes time and I pray that I will see healing in Israel and Palestine as I remember seeing in South Africa.

May coexistence emerge from the darkness that is now filled with hatred, disdain, and terrorism on all sides.

(Note: My views may infuriate some of you. I am writing to make sure that voices like mine are heard. I am so profoundly saddened by the tragedies that continue to unravel the land that so many would like to call home.)
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Middah (character trait) focus: Moving forward with grace

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

Wondering if this is graceful. . . .

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

I am a person who acknowledges who I am and what my intentions are; I attempt to always walk forward with both integrity and transparency.  At times, it isn’t easy to walk as I do, but it is a part of me.  At the same time, I journey towards peace (both inner and outer peace).  While the journey is sometimes difficult, in the end, each step propels me towards a more authentic life allowing me to be impactful for good.

Making an impact for good is profoundly important to me.  Those of you that know me personally, know that I sometimes offend people with my directness; I am honest and intense in how I walk in this world. While I may offend people, it is often because of how I grapple with what I see not because I want to make others uncomfortable.  And I am also a loving human being that thrives on positive interactions and sweet connections.

With that in mind, I have chosen to navigate my latest journey in the most graceful way I know how.  (We all have our journeys, don’t we?) My hope is that I hold myself in a positive way.  I love life, I love the people that I have chosen and that have chosen me for their world.  I connect with people whether I walk in a store, on a mountain, on the sidewalks next to a busy street; I couldn’t make these connections if I didn’t embrace life as I do.

Deep anger and dark energy would not make me approachable in any way.  I love being the person that touches people with my warmth and smile; I can’t imagine being any other way.  That doesn’t mean that I am not sad right now; I am struggling with taking care of my family financially and how I will transition if I have to move.  And guess what – it really is about finances and I believe that as long as my family does what it needs to do that we will land on our feet even if I have to ask for help.  Moving forward with grace is about focusing on the many positives and not harping on what was.  Each step of my journey has been full of open doors.  Sometimes the doors are open briefly and sometimes the doors are wide open for a lifetime.  I need to see the world as being full of opportunities; I need to concentrate on the good; and I need to move forward by doing all that needs to be done with a gentleness within me.

And with every step, I need to remember that my family is blessed with good health, loving friends and a ‘can do’ attitude.  We will be ok for sure and probably even great in just a short time.

With all of this in mind – May I move forward with grace – now and always.

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Nothing in life is a given, yet we can choose how to walk along the way.

Registering that reality can feel like a gift or feel like a challenge.  I can usually maneuver whatever comes my way.  I can choose to wrap myself in in my cocoon  or I an spread my wings and keep navigating forward.

butterflyBranson MO

Photo courtesy of
Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

The warmth of the cocoon is sweet and comforting; spreading my wings and fluttering about like a butterfly is pure ecstasy.  Both choices are the dichotomies for how I walk through life.  Sometimes I nestle into my thoughts and feelings as I face life somewhat privately or quietly; sometimes I flutter about reaching for new horizons or moving gently in the world.  There is a place for embracing life quietly or actively; life is what you make of it.

We can learn lessons from all of our different realities or we can grow stagnant.  Learning from life’s realities is a key to moving forward.  If you sit in darkness and despair for too long, little is gained.  At the same time if you let the joy of a moment flood you with happiness for too long, you also gain little.  Balance comes from not only acknowledging life’s realities, but also actively engaging in life’s journeys.  Feeling is important.  Acknowledging your thoughts/feelings is essential.  Sitting where you are for as long as you need can be healthy.  No one can dictate the right amount of time one needs to nestle into an emotional space, except for the person facing their own lives.

This month, I have faced many moments of fear, loss, pain, emptiness, anger, and relief, balance, hopefulness, peace.  Life’s dichotomies have been a little too intense at times.  My breathing has sometimes been labored; my emotional and physical state has been wobbly too.  As this period of time wanes, I am really grateful for my beloved friends and family who have allowed me both the space to sit quietly and the space to fly.  I have felt loved and held in a cocoon of inner warmth; I have also been free to flutter wherever my heart and soul took me.

Life is a journey of the unexpected; the gift is that I always have the power on how I will navigate.

May each of us find the balance to navigate life’s realities in a way that serves us well.

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