Counting Omer 5780, Day 46
Eternity, Forever, Splendor, Perpetuity, Endurance, Long-Lasting, and Spiritual Victory within Shekhinah, Majesty, Sovereignty, Exaltedness, Humility; Union of Opposites; Holding Paradox.
Quality: Living and Leading with Dignity and Esteem
I have permission to share this story: A few years ago, a friend dated a man with whom she had a lot in common, including that they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. It was a quick friendship that promised to develop into more, and she went with it. She was excited and happy.
They had only been dating for a couple of months when he unexpectedly displayed a level of cruelty that stunned her. She had taken a break from their day to work on a few items, then spontaneously decided to take herself out for dinner and invite him to join her.
He showed up later than expected. Still, she was happy to see him. Within minutes after he arrived, he got annoyed about something she did not understand and called her outside her name. When she repeated what he said to her, he tried to defend it. She told him to stop and ordered him to leave. As he left, he turned back and repeated the insult.
A few days later, he apologized, and she accepted his apology. She was also clear that, for the sake of the people they had in common, she would be genuinely polite and civil, but he ought not to expect more from her. He also asked her forgiveness and she said no.
Him: It’s Yom Kippur, you have to forgive!
She: No, I do not. I hold no malice toward. However, you refuse to understand or take any responsibility for the impact of your behavior. So, I don’t forgive you.
Several weeks later, he was surprised when she refused to have a casual meal with him. To his credit, he asked that she explain. She explained that his surprise confirms that he still had not been listening or taking her seriously. There was no reason for her to be more than polite until he was ready to listen. So, he listened without interruption – which was hard for him. It was hard for him to hear the full emotional impact of his cruelty. He confessed that he ‘had no idea’ the impact his actions had on her – despite her previous attempts to communicate the devastation.
When I asked my friend, what allowed her not to get stuck in the trauma of what happened between them, she laughed. “After the incident, I was still in shock when a young girl (who was celebrating her birthday) at the next table asked me if I was okay. Instantly, I realized I was and laughed. I said yes, I was okay. My waiter showed up and said there were six people who wanted to buy me drinks; seven if I included him. Of course, I wanted to know why. He said he couldn’t speak for the others, but it was the first time he saw a woman standing up to a jerk; sending him away instead of leaving. ‘You were here, having a good time until he came and started calling you names. He’s an idiot!’ I was blown away.
“All of that made it easy to remember my commitment to who I am, now; not the abused child or the abused bride or abused girlfriend of long ago. Not the neglected life partner or anything other than me, now. I cannot be committed to the story and its emotional horror; that perpetuates the old traumas. In focusing on what I needed in the moment I demanded that he leave instead of me leaving, because it was my dinner with me to which he was an ungrateful invited guest who, intentionally or not, tried to strip me of my dignity. My residual insecurities could have led me to believe what he said, but that didn’t occur to me. It didn’t even occur to me! I knew it was all about him, and my healing was about me. The next day, I mourned. In between contact with him, I was fine. Amazingly fine.”
Once we realize that our insecurities are the lies we tell ourselves to keep us from being the person we want to be, we can live with them because we know they are not true. They are old insecurities speaking. We can put our hand on our heart and pat ourselves because we are now okay.
The stronger our sense of connectedness to The Divine One, ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers – Life, the stronger our antidote to those who want to take us down intentionally or unintentionally. In this way, we are owning our holiness. We are living and leading with dignity and esteem.
We are overwhelmed and pulled by the Mountain. We move forward as a community.
© Sabrina Sojourner 2020