Counting Omer 5780, Day 9:
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Gevurah shebeGevurah Limitations; Spiritual, Physical, Emotional Strength; and Boundaries within Limitations; Spiritual, Physical, Emotional Strength; and Boundaries.
Quality: What you believe shapes what you see
In Genesis, Hagar is sent away with her son Yish’mael (21.9-21). In her despair, she and Yish’mael get lost in the desert and soon run out of water. Hagar sets Yish’mael under a tree and walks as far away as she can and still keep him in her sight. She cannot bear the thought of watching him die of thirst and she knows she cannot see what happens to him. The Source of All Life reaches out to her, assures her that Yish’mael has an important future and causes her to see water she previously was unable to see.
This type of seeing also happens in the next chapter to Avraham. He binds Yitz’khak and has his knife raised when an angel of the Source of Life points to a ram that is to be sacrificed instead of Avraham and Sarah’s son.
In each case, we have a person who has been placed in a situation they did not want. Hagar has been told she must leave her home and believes it is up to her to find her way in a world she does not know. Avraham believes he has been told he must sacrifice Yitz’khak in order to please the Most High. Neither questions their unhappiness, their circumstances, or their beliefs.
When their beliefs are transformed, their eyes are opened to what was already present and a different way of seeing their present and their future.
There are many puzzles that facilitators use to show participants their default way of viewing the world. One of my favorites involves nine dots placed on a sheet of paper 3 rows by 3 rows to form a square. The instruction is to connect all nine dots using four strokes of your writing instrument without lifting your instrument from the page. If you do not know this puzzle, I encourage you to try it. What, if any, limitations do you see? How can you move beyond those limitations?
We often focus on “what” when possibilities lay within “how.” We argue with “what is so,” creating stress for ourselves and others, when “acceptance” creates peace and opens paths to possibilities. When we release ourselves from what we think we ought to be, we create the path to discovering who we are. We purposely choose the lens through which we view the world, owning our strengths, narrowing our judgments, and setting limitations; allowing each to transform and open our eyes as our awareness of self transforms and opens our soul.
This possibility of transformation is dependent on only one thing: our willingness to question what we believe or think we know.
© Sabrina Sojourner 2020