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Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

Gratitude abounds.

Over the past weeks, I have found that my entire being has craved quiet. The chatter of loved ones has been too much for me. Voices on the phone, chatting via text, and conversations with strangers have all nearly stopped.

The good news is that I have been able to show up for work, for family/friends, and for the world as needed. If, however, I was not needed, I have learned not to show up.

With every ounce of my being, I want to make this world a better place. Wandering our beloved universe, I have always wanted to serve those in need and our earth too. At the same time, I have also had to temporarily release my sense of responsibility for the world.

Honoring my need for quiet has forced me to wrestle with the question, ‘Am I enough? In truth, the answer is that I could be more, do more, and give more. AND I am also aware that if I didn’t take time to move towards a quieter place, I wouldn’t be able to emerge as one of the many caregivers of our world. We have to take care of ourselves first so that we can ultimately do the holy work of showing up for our world.

Growing up, my father used to gently and firmly put his hands over my ears and cradle my head lovingly between his hands. With love he would say, “Listen to the quiet.”

While my father no longer walks in this world, his sweet words resonate inside my soul.

Abba*, I am listening. I hear the quiet.

rocking chair

*Daddy

 

 

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Everything we say and don’t say matters; everything we do and don’t do matters.

Words and Silence – Action and inaction. . . .

Over the past many weeks, I have been more selective with what I say and what I do. Allowing myself to room for silence of voice and action has sometimes grounded me and has sometimes left me profoundly uncomfortable.

Too much is going on in the world. Every day, we are bombarded with information on the Iran Deal, US politics, climate change, the illness of loved ones, poverty, racism, human trafficking, refugees, immigration, gun control (or lack of control). The world feels really dark and painfully out of control. Opinions, prejudices, and biases emerge as if they are fact. And the facts are skewed by whoever is sharing them.

While each of us may see or hear about the same event, we tend to interpret what is happening based on our life experiences and views. I am no different. And I am realizing that so many people lack the power to discern what is happening in the world because they are being influenced by whatever sunglasses they are wearing instead of by interpreting the facts with the openness to really embrace the facts.

With so many human travesties and a feeling of hopelessness, I find that I am doing less than I should. I am not visiting the sick, helping teens navigate the world; I am not taking the time to care for others or the environment as much as I should.  Instead I am feeling stuck; I am unable to process the world as I once did.

Add the above to life’s normal challenges and some not so normal challenges, I have been feeling paralyzed and unable to make a difference in the world.

With all of this in mind, over the recent period of time, I have found myself going a little more inward and looking for quiet ways to care for myself more. This week alone, I have slept more, read a little more, taken some amazing yoga classes and listened to some amazing podcasts. I have allowed myself some time to invest in close friends and my sons. This time has brought core exhaustion to my core, but it has also brought about some intense realizations.

When I allow my momentary sense of hopelessness to surface, I live in fear that the world can never recover from the human conditioning that exists today. And then. . . just as I settled in myself sparks began to emerge, so many beautiful moments. There are people that are really trying to address the horrific issues of our century. A couple of days ago, I received an email with the following link http://www.globalgoals.org/prayer-for-everyone/.  Open it up and allow yourself to dream, to believe, and then to join those that have created Global Goals, those that have yet to give up on the human atrocities. There is work to do; we can make a difference.  At the same time, that I woke up to find the above link in my mailbox, a couple of new friends and old friends alike have found ways to let me know that my voice matters.

A day doesn’t pass without me looking deeply into the world.  With that responsibility comes the opportunity to listen and to share; we can learn from one another.  Listening and sharing leads to action and sometimes inaction. There are things we must do and sometimes we simply can’t do it all.

As I move towards 5776, I am aware that my voice matters so I need to find my voice even as I listen to all of the voices that surround me. In the coming year, may I leave the very tight cocoon I have woven for myself and be the butterfly that brightens the world around me. May I truly make a difference by impacting the world and doing things that make improve the lives of not only my family, my community, but the larger world too.

Can I be a butterfly that makes the world a little more beautiful? Courtesy of Karen Judin

Can I be a butterfly that makes the world a little more beautiful?
Courtesy of Karen Judin

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Middah (character trait) focus: Is there a fire in your soul?

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.

On the 33 day of the Counting of the Omer, many of us have a bonfire to celebrate the holiday of Lag b’Omer.  (For more info on Lag b’Omer see http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Shavuot/In_the_Community/Counting_the_Omer/Lag_BaOmer.shtml?p=0) Tonight, I found myself inspired by the idea that the bonfire is a reminder that we should find and nurture the fire in our soul.  Is there a challenge in society that compels you to actively engage in tikkun olam, repairing the world?  Are you driven to step outside of your own bubble in order to do something good for someone outside of your little world?  As I say that, I am assuming that you are a loving human being who takes care of those in your world as need be.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. ~George Eliot

Over the years and to this day, I have pursued so many passions that sustain the ambers burning in my soul.  If there is an issue that needs my activism, I often do my part to make a difference for good.  Sometimes it is as simple as just noting the issues, but other times, I need to physically go out there and labor for my causes.  I am part of the human race and that makes it my responsibility to do what I can to impact the world for good.  In my heart of hearts, I believe each and every one of us should consider the bigger world and do our part to make a difference; we do not need to take on each and every issue, but we can try to do our part however big or small.

 Is there a fire in your soul? If so, what are you doing to make a difference? If not, consider trying to find one issue that you can do your part and have a positive impact.

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Last night we counted Day 29 of the Omer, which is 4 weeks and one day of the counting. Today is referred to as Chesed sheh b’Hod, Loving-kindness within Expansiveness.

Hod or Expaniveness Becoming at One with the Expansiveness that surrounds us.  Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn, artist, social workier, and friend

Hod or Expaniveness
Becoming at One with the Expansiveness that surrounds us.
Courtesy of Jennifer Judelsohn            artist, social worker, friend

There is an amazing world that exists outside of what we know and understand; we are part of a larger universe, an expansiveness.  Each night as I look into the Tucson skies, I am dazzled by the pure beauty that surrounds me and by the responsibility I feel for what I see and how connected to all that is I am.  Chesed. Walking gently, making healthy life choices, connecting with the world around me are all responsibilities that come to me as I face the expansiveness of all that is.

May each of us find a way to become at one with the expansiveness that surrounds us.

 

 

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Partnership

Awareness

Interconnectedness

Responsibility

Photo courtesy of
Wendy Harris Delson
Alcatraz

With Tu B’Shevat, the New Year for the Trees, coming, I wanted to have our Religious School community reflect on what being an integral part of the bigger picture could mean for each of us when we talk about the environment and all interconnected relationships. So, I taught them about the acronym PAIR.

Partnership

Remember that we are part of many different partnerships within life.  We are part of our families, our Temple, our schools, our community, Israel, the world.

Awareness

Within those partnerships we have to be aware of what is going on in the world around us.

 

Interconnectedness

The interconnectedness means that we are in a relationship not only with one another, but also with the land, the skies, and everything related to our environment.

 

Responsibility

Knowing that we are all interconnected means we have a HUGE responsibility to honor the interconnectedness of life by taking responsibility for the environment that we live.  This means that it is incumbent upon us to consider our actions within all relationships.  On a daily basis we interact with not only people, but with the environment around us.

Reflection:

There is a beauty in watching the children as they grow to realize that they are part of a larger picture.  This knowledge has the ability to impact how we walk in the world.  Each of our children, just like each human being has the ability to make a difference by walking gently and remembering the bigger picture.

While we often think it is ‘all about me’, it isn’t; we are part of a bigger world and we have to do our part to make this world, our environment, the best that it can be.  If we all work together, we can each do our part to impact our world for good.  PAIR is only one tool to help us remember our place and then inspire us in how we move forward and then ultimately how we engage with our bigger environment.

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