“Originally, I was so ashamed of having this behavior that I couldn’t even discuss it, and I suffered alone.”
We sometimes view our shortcomings, our reactivity, our limited consciousness as personal failures – and we suffer!
“Then I came to realize I wanted help more than I wanted to avoid embarrassment, so I reached out for help. Though it took courage to reach out, I now acknowledge that that ‘realizing’ was itself a gift. I hadn’t seen that option before, and then I did. That’s a big deal. Thank you, Hashem!”
It is easy to overlook the gifts of new moods or seeing new options.
“I also don’t minimize the courage it took to reach out for help. In that sense, I see my partnership with God – He gives me new understanding and I then act.”
Wow – we are partners with the Source of all wisdom, and our partnership matters.
“Even after I was seeking help and support, I still felt ashamed. I thought, ‘When is this habit going to be over so I can move on with respectable living?’”
Having meaningful insights about a challenge doesn’t mean we’re done and “normal” now.
“Then I remembered what Hashem told Moshe at the burning bush, “Remove your shoes from upon your feet because the ground you are standing on is holy.” The Chofetz Chaim says this means that a person shouldn’t think, ‘I’d love to make progress but I’m too much of a loser; if I only I was like Joe, I could make something of myself.’ No. ‘The place you stand on is holy ground’ applies not just to Moshe but to everyone. Whatever situation or level you find yourself in, it’s holy; it’s not only not something to be ashamed of, it’s exactly the place from which to accomplish your life’s work.”
Bang. We do the work of our lives better when we’re not judging, resisting, or fleeing it.
“I am warming to the idea that this challenge is really where Hashem wants me. I wouldn’t have opted for it, but I can embrace it.”
This is a central opportunity of Rosh Hashana. The Source of all wisdom is leading and guiding. You can be in your life, in your lack of consciousness, in your habits, in your fears. Where ever you are, you are on safe and holy ground. You can make Hashem your King here and now and be His partner.