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Counting Omer 5780, Day 32

Netzakh ShebeHod

Eternity, Forever, Splendor, Perpetuity, Endurance, Long-Lasting, and Spiritual Victory within Exquisite Beauty, Splendor, Glory, Vigor, Magnificence, and Pomp.

Quality: Living we are connected

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov created a midrash (between the word/lines story) that describes Noakh (Genesis 6.9-11.32) as someone who was ridiculed from childhood as the person who would “save humanity.” Noakh did advance several technologies that made people’s lives easier and still he suffered abuse from the larger community. When he started to build the ark, the ridicule worsened.

After the flood, Noakh, finally makes it to shore and he is stunned. He has emerged to an empty world. Noakh prays: Compassionate One! Where is Your Compassion?

The Eternal responds: Foolish shepherd! Now you pray to me to have compassion! Where was your compassion when I told you my plans?!

Sometimes, we can feel so battered by life that we go numb, sinking into depression. Most people looking at us would not know we are depressed because we continue the routine of getting up and showing up. We appear well put together. All the while, we are crumbling inside, aching for something to move us out of exile, yearning for anything to return us to Life.

We may respond to a calling that seems to answer, soothe our ache. The Rebbe, who danced with his depression, seems to be telling us not to be seduced by that call. Let it wake us enough, if not fully, to Life to be curious and to inquire.

The call may appear to be for action – doing when Life is actually calling us to: Awaken. Notice. Be present. That includes being in relationship with our depression, anxiety, fears, anger – everything that is covering our deep pain so that we can be with our deep pain.

When we surrender to our grief, trauma, deep pain we come into our selves. We wail, moan, sob; failing into the source of our resistance – our suffering.

In that moment we are rocked back to life. Yes, we are still sad. Yes, we are still grieving.

Yes, we are still in the aftermath of trauma. The difference is that being present to what brought us to numbness, depression ceases our suffering and returns us to being connected to the Source of Life, which moves us to being connected to the humans and nature that constantly remind us we’re not alone. From this moment, color and coloring return such that we are deeply held by our relationship to Love, Gratitude, joy, Beauty…

Life is not either or. It is both and all. When we embrace this paradox, we reduce our suffering because we no longer feel picked on or singled out for misfortune. We cease dipping into survivor guilt and feeling undeserving of good fortune. We understand that Life is not yet done with us.

“Why me?” is our ego – all self-consciousness that leads to suffering is ego because we are focusing on us in a way that keeps us out of the flow of Life. When we pause and say “yes” to this moment, we are returned to Life to be with Life with its amazing disappointments, sweetness, bitterness, love, compassion, and so much more!

When depression causes us to forget we are connected, like Noakh, we may succeed in saving ourselves and participate in the destruction of humanity. Life requires being with our brokenness and our wholeness. They are not separate. They both live in our body, hearts, and minds; the threads of our experiences weave the still unfolding tapestry of our Life connected to the tapestries of all Life and Living.

Remember, with each breath, each of us is connected to All that Was, Is, and Will Be.



© Sabrina Sojourner 2020

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