13 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Pinchas
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Making Room for Blessings    

Making Room for Blessings

We all hold onto things till the bitter end. It could be a relationship, a job, a routine, a state of mind, or even a goal. Maybe Hashem has something better in store?


My baby was whimpering and I was engorged.


We were looking forward to the same thing but for different reasons. I needed to unload and she needed to load up.


But in her ravenous hunger she had taken to her fist, sucking ferociously on as many fingers as she could stuff into her mouth at once. I guess she was trying to feed herself. Perhaps she thought if she sucked hard enough her fingers would produce milk.


Poor child...the hunger must have really gotten to her head.


To help her out, I began to remove her hand from her mouth.  In her determined state of mind, however, she stubbornly resisted my pull and continued to suck on her hand with extreme gusto. I felt bad to pull at her arm, after all she was but a wee 3-month-old…but what choice did I really have? I had to clear space in her mouth.  So apologetically, I began to pull a bit harder at her wrist.  She, however, continued to fight against me, using all of her super-human baby strength to keep her fingers in her mouth. She simply refused to let go.


At that point, I had no choice but to pull as hard as necessary to remove her hand from her mouth. It was kind of like we were engaged in a tug-of-war, and if you ever had a tug-of-war contest with a baby in survival mode, you know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. When threatened, babies put up a good fight! But she was no match for me. And naturally, once she was defeated she cried like a little baby. From her point of view, I must have instantly transformed into a heartless wretch, yanking away at her one comfort in life. But before long, everything changed and alas, I was nursing her. Dinner was served!  Peace was restored. The ordeal was over and a sense of relief washed over us both.


As I sat there nursing and recapping the short drama that led up to this moment, I realized that NEVER in all my years of nursing my children have I ever had to pry one of their hands out of their mouths to create space like this. This was something unusual. And whenever I encounter something unusual in my day to day life, I take it as a personal message from G-d that contains a lesson, a metaphor, or a sparkle of wisdom for me.  In this case, it didn’t take much digging for me to find the gem:


I was at a point in my career where I sensed that a certain part of my job was coming to an end.  After all the years of hard work I put in, it felt like the door was being rudely slammed in my face. Sad to let it go, I was resisting the end and doing everything in my power to hold on. Even though this particular job wasn’t so enjoyable, the idea of it slipping away was very upsetting to me. I was attached to it. I felt that I needed it. And I certainly couldn’t imagine a better job in its place.


But behold, G-d had just shown me a clear template of what taking and giving can look like. I saw myself holding onto the dead job like a crazed, confused infant, who with her own hand was clogging up space and preventing abundance to trickle in! I didn’t trust that if I let go something more appropriate would take its place.


And isn’t this the normal, human, emuna-less struggle that we all deal with from time to time? We all hold on to things till the bitter end. It could be a relationship, a job, a routine, an endeavor, a state of mind, or even a goal. Sure, it’s natural to get attached to things, to resist letting go, and to find console and meaning in them. Some of the things we hold on to serve a good and healthy purpose. They might bring us comfort, joy, love, or fulfillment.  But some of the things we hold on to don’t do anything good for us. Or even worse, G-d forbid, they are harmful, creating misery, frustration, illness, depression or stress in our lives. Perhaps, like babies, we hold on to them because of the need to self sooth. Perhaps we hope they will one day improve and start to produce “milk.” Or perhaps, we are just so dependent on them and we can’t imagine anything better.


But let’s remember the truth: Hashem is the only One who can give and the only One who can take. So if something is being taken from us, instead of resisting reality and trying to suck milk out of dry fingers, we should open our eyes and see that it’s G-d who is doing the taking! It’s not the boss, the lawyer, the doctor, the bank, the government, or anybody else. Hashem is our loving, engorged parent. He is loaded with milk and when He takes something away, He is creating space to provide us with something new. When we believe that He does everything for our best, we can let go of what is being taken with a calm, trusting, and open hand, and we can be certain that great, new things are coming. Sometimes the new thing takes time to arrive, but the more we trust that it is coming down the pipe line, the sooner it will arrive. Hashem is simply making room for new blessings – just wait and see!

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  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
Anonymous,8/28/2016 6:33:02 AM
  Wow!! Sunny! This rocks!
Yehudit8/26/2016 3:29:35 PM

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