So much of life is spent trying to find yourself- right?!
Which, if you think about it, actually raises the idea that perhaps there is more than one you?! Otherwise, who in the world is doing the looking?! Get the complexity here?!
Sometimes, even though we are still looking for ourselves – we even try to help others find themselves! In fact, some people choose a life’s profession that devotes themselves to helping others find themselves. And if you think about it, that seems kind of wild. Because if YOU, who are with yourself all the time, have difficulty finding yourself, how are they going to be more successful at it?
Clearly, we see that just being with yourself doesn’t assure self-knowledge. In fact, they say, to truly see yourself you have to be able to step outside of yourself. Oy, so where are you hanging out till you get back into yourself?!
There is a book written by Rabbi Forhman about Purim called, “The Queen You Thought You Knew”. Look at that, even when you thought you at least figured someone else out, this book clearly lets you know, nothing doing!
So- what’s going on here? Are we lost or found? Are we in the know or not?
I guess this teaches us- there is knowledge, and then there is – knowledge! One, is an awareness you exist. The other, is a deeper understanding.
That’s what it’s about-not just looking for ourselves- but understanding who we are, and what we are doing here?
This is the progression of our lives. First, as infants we explore everything with our mouths. Eventually, we give that up and explore with our hands. Though I will concede that we have a hard time giving up that initial habit when it comes to any food placed before us!
As we grow we start exploring with our eyes and ears. And finally with our hearts and minds. Once we hit this stage we are on a life’s journey.
Without ever physically leaving the port, so to speak, we can take ourselves to many different destinations. Look at how resourceful we are! However, many of the places we encounter aren’t ones we necessarily want to go to. We need to find a way to steer our ship to fulfilling ports and, at a minimum, find the correct exchange rate to navigate the ones we get stuck in.
With this outlook we can travel through time with some confidence that we can handle whatever conditions we may encounter.
How exactly do we do this? Well, I’ve asked myself, who actually convened with my other self, and together with the input of a lot of other selves, and teachers, and Torah guidance…. (Talk about committees!) and the answer that we arrived at is this: There will be many different types of experiences in our lives. Some will be the pure moments. Others will be mixed, and some completely challenging. What helps is understanding, that they are all part of what you are supposed to be experiencing here, all part of your work here, and thus we shouldn’t lose ourselves through it.
Realizing they are all from your maker is a goal, and then thinking – I was sent this from Gd either to enjoy or to experience. Therein, you strengthen the relationship with a parent who loves you, even at those times when our limited vantage point does not see how. Also, it can be a time to learn-not to ask why/lama, but rather li-ma/for what, purpose. In other words, how can I grow from this?
These are the most productive discussions you can have with the many versions of you. And hopefully what will emerge is a more informed, and capable, and understanding, version of you!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org