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Posts Tagged ‘let go’

“From a certain point onward
there
is no longer any turning back.
That is the point that must be reached.”
Franz Kafka

This has been the year of trials and tribulations.  In so many ways 5775 has been a nightmare and in many more ways it has been the year that I will always remember for the many and very real blessings.

Sunrise ove the Boise River which flows through Treasure Valley Courtesy of Dianne Hoff

Sunrise ove the Boise River which flows through Treasure Valley
Courtesy of Dianne Hoff

Sunrise always came, despite the floods that seemed to leave me profoundly dark and sometimes fearing for how I would navigate life.

This was the year that I said to good-bye to so many chapters of my life. My marriage formally ended, I nearly lost my profession, and hope was nothing more than a dream. Loneliness became my friend, becoming destitute was nearly a reality, and I was forced to say good-bye to some of the most beloved souls within my life.

5775 was a nightmare, it was a dark tunnel.  AND within the dark tunnel, I found some of the most amazing sparks of light.

Financial Challenges

My position as a Jewish educator ended abruptly, leaving me void of income and the finances to move forward. Yet doors opened up and my family never starved.

Whenever I feared that I would be destitute, jobs came out of nowhere.  Jobs emerged because my friends found positions for me. When my career went half-time and then ended, care-giving allowed me to care for people that were sometimes at the end of their lives, but always challenged by life circumstances. Physical pain was part of their every move; emotional challenges were inevitable. My kindness, my gentleness, and my strength allowed some beautiful souls to live with as much dignity as possible; I made a difference.

And when care-giving couldn’t sustain me any longer, so many friends afforded me the possibility to survive and ultimately thrive. While I feared survival, I never really had to a reason to worry. Everything I needed to survive was available to my family. A friend gave me a home to live in for six months, beloved friends and family gave us what we needed to move and survive until I could start working, at every turn positions allowed our family to have exactly what we needed.  And just as I was getting ready to sustain myself on hourly wages, and another friend nudged me to apply for the position that lead me to be exactly where I am supposed to be at this time. As tears run down my face, I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be in Houston with an amazing community including co-workers that fill my life with joy.

I love forever. 

And this year couldn’t protect me from the pain of loss. I did have to say good-bye or let go of what could no longer be part of my life.

After years of separation, my marriage formally ended. For now, I can share that when I married nearly 26 years ago, I didn’t believe that my marriage could end in any way other than death. It did end and while I have had years to get used to what that ending meant, it is still profoundly sad.

When I was forced to say good-bye to our beloved Shachar, my sweet puppy. I was comforted by the belief that my family gave her enormous love in the year that we had her. Her abused spirit ended too early, but for one year she was treated with the love that was part of our every interaction, even the ending of her life. And as I was struggling for our family’s loss and some very physical pain, Jennifer and David showed up. They didn’t hesitate to come to Aryeh and I who were buckets of tears and pain. They just held us metaphorically and helped us move forward.

Finally, I had to let go of my best friend, a person who I thought would be in my life forever. For reasons that are somewhat beyond my grasp. . .there are no tomorrows. Sometimes all you can say is good-bye. I only wish I had the grace to say good-bye without sharing the deep loss that was a part of me; my heart quite literally shattered as my entire being yearned to understand.  This was the year I was forced to simply let go; I was given no choice.

With each and every step, I was never alone; I was surrounded by love. My friends always showed up in some very profound ways.

This has also been the year when I faced my inability to be present for those I love. I can send love letters, I can pray and send healing energy.  But I have so many friends who are facing very real physical pain.  Their pain is deep and all I want to do is wrap my arms around them and I can’t and I may never again.  The reality that sometimes there are no tomorrows cuts like a knife. While my life has been full in all the right ways, today I don’t have the means to be more present.  And there are people that I love as deeply as I love my family, they are my family of choice. Realizing that I can not be there breaks my heart.

As I get older, I have learned that life ends, accidents happen, physical pain hurts. . .with and without warning.  When my dear friend Helen died a few years ago, I was crushed that I couldn’t be there for her family, but I couldn’t.  At the same time, I have learned the most valuable lesson possible. I have learned to love completely and to treasure what is.  Even when you lose a beloved friend or lover, what you had lives on.  That love is what made you what you are.

The World
And the world, can we talk about Israel, Black Lives Matter, Our Nation, Refugees, Climate Change. . . .the list goes on and on; my mind never shuts off.  The world is struggling and I am struggling with her. Beauty comes as I stand with so many other individuals that care. I am not alone. Regardless of what language we give to each of the issues, I am surrounded by passionate people who care and want to make a difference for good.

While I can never do enough; I am doing what I can and that has to be enough for this moment.

Finally
Moving forward means acknowledging the pain, but willingly deciding that life is worthy of swimming upstream.  Thriving is not optional. The world is precious and full of so many beautiful souls. While tomorrow is not a given, this moment is here. So to quote my ‘virtual’ friend Jeff Keni Pulver, “Live, Life, Now!”

Every morning the sun rises. Life may sometimes have painful moments, but I know that I am always surrounded by light.

5776 – Hineini, Here I am!

Onward with love,
Chava

PS – To each and every one of my friends that have been there for me – thank you! I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

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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 others, it is a tool for exploring the kabbalistic teachings in an organized way. For me, it is a time to actively reflect on my Journey Towards Wholeness. The more I am whole, the more free I will become.  [http://t.co/dBPYjDxSGj . . . .]

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller: Western Minnesota

Photo Courtesy of Randall Miller:
Western Minnesota

So much has happened to me in my life. On a good day, I always push through without thinking about those who may have hurt me or those I may have hurt. And I remember what Anne Lamott says, “Sometimes this human stuff is slimy and pathetic…but better to feel it and talk about it and walk through it than to spend a lifetime being silently poisoned.”

Healing from the tough life experiences happens only by giving myself the time to feel the pain, to write about my experiences, and to sometimes share what has happened with those that are willing to listen. Since I am a work in progress, that means that I have to allow myself the time to heal. And I have to allow myself the space to let go.  While, pain may return for moments, I don’t have to let in own me.

Beauty happens when you realize how grateful you are to having had experiences that may have broken your heart, but also gave you wings to fly.  Not all the challenging things that have happened in your life have to leave you broken.  It fact, learning from life’s hard moments is a good way to grow.  For me, that is a non-negotiable.

So I have been hurt; sometimes by others and sometimes by my own actions.  I get to choose how I move forward.  With that in mind, my goal is to ALWAYS allow for healing.  Life is too precious to do otherwise.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Always Healing

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Middah (character trait) focus: let go and say good-bye

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.

When we honor ourselves by taking care of ourselves, we are working towards being strong and vibrant people.  Navigating life’s journeys in order to build our character isn’t always easy, yet the benefit is that we develop stronger middot, character traits.

Most of us have people in our lives that aren’t good for us.  They don’t serve us and we don’t serve them; the connection doesn’t feel as healthy as it once did. Their personalities drain our energy; their spirits disolve our inner peace. Sometimes the challenging connections are due to the relationship’s evolution. All relationships change, sometimes we are blessed to change in unison and sometimes not.  In reality, I could be talking about personal relationships, work experiences, congregational memberships.  Nothing ever stays the same.

May each of us be blessed to surround ourselves with people that jazz our soul, honor us for who we are, and nurture who we are while inspiring us to grow; if not, may we have the courage to let them go.

Let go and say good-bye

Let go and say good-bye

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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.

Middah (character trait) focus: Remember. . . Let Go

This week is dedicated to remembering and letting go.  As I reflect on my mother’s upcoming yahrzeit, the end of a job, and some other dark realities, I am blessed to be someone who focuses on the good and who finds the blessings in the challenges.  May it be so now and always.

Remember . . . Let It Go Courtesy of Karen Judin

Remember . . . Let It Go
Courtesy of Karen Judin

Remember. . . . Let Go

 

Remember the moments, the pain, the emptiness

Let go. . . only when you are ready

 

Remember the good, what worked, what put a smile on your face

Celebrate it, but let that go too

 

As you walk through life keep moving forward

Step by step

Remember and let go

 

We grow from life

The challenges

The good

Learn from all your experience

And always move forward

 

Remember . . . . Let Go

 

 

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For many reasons, the summer of 2001 was absolutely one of the darkest periods in my life.  For 6.5 weeks, I sat watching my father struggle for life and then let go of life.  Exactly 6.5 weeks after discovering he had brain cancer, he was dead.  For the first five weeks he fought valiantly for his life and then he let go.

Watching him beat up his dying body with radiation and then chemo nearly killed me.  I loved my father.  While our relationship was extraordinarily complicated, I hated watching him suffer.  While he couldn’t always take care of me as a child, he loved me and he really did try. And the good news is he came through as a zaydie, he was an amazing grandfather to my children.

During his final week, I looked at my Abba (father) and said, “I am so sorry you are going through this.’ And with that he responded with five simple words that have since become my life’s motto. “It is what it is.”

MugItIsWhatItIs2

Those words have helped me manuever life for over 12 years.  They provide comfort and allow me to accept reality without going crazy.  Sometimes life is beautiful; sometimes life is less than beautiful.  There is nothing simple about life; there are hours, days, weeks when life feels challenging or even crippling.  And there are times when my spirit soars and inner peace fills my soul.  It is what it is!

‘It is what it is’ helps me navigate the world with a little more ease.  While I am still one of the most intense people I know, these words allow me to be present in wherever I am at any given moment.  These simple words remind me to breathe deeply,  to hang on for the ride, to seek the gifts within reality, and to be ok with what is!

What a gift this little phrase has been for me!! Yay!!!  Perhaps in these five words I found the greatest legacy that my father left me.  How surreal that it came during his last days or maybe even last hours of consciousness; 12 years after his death, that thought is resonating with me.

A couple of months ago, two close friends send a gift; this gift was a surprise in every way.  It wasn’t my birthday or even a momentous occasion; my friends were just being the thoughtful and loving people that they are!  As I looked in the box I was so jazzed by what the mug in the box said and then I realized that while the mug came in three unexpected pieces,  the message was still the same.  How ironic!!!  It is what it is!  I love how my friends ‘got me’ !!  The  knew that these words inspire me to walk through the world as I do.  Broken or not, this mug is still making me smile.  How cool is that!?!?!

May we all learn to honor what is even as something different then expected comes our way.

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