Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thoughts on emunah and bitachon.


Take a break.

Have a breather.

Stop and smell the flowers.

Take care of yourself. Put yourself first.

I have written many times about self-care and how that seems to be impossible to achieve. Today is one of those days that sounds almost like a comedy, were I not in the midst of if.

I have overscheduled, but I was counting on two adults being home and dividing up all the driving and all the prep and all the emotional labor between two people. But my husband got called up into the hospital for a VBAC that became a c-section. It is almost 3 pm and I have not seen him yet today, let alone him doing any of the things that were planned for today.

I know how these days play out: I will be emotionally going offline just as my younger kids will be coming back home and "unloading" from their day of interactions. Those once a week gymnastics that I signed all four kids for will seem like an unnecessary torture instead of a pleasant activity. I will end up being short-tempered because that's what happens when dinner is not served until 7 and then they still need a bath. And then my husband might want to unwind, too. And my mother will grumble how fine, she will martyr herself, we should go out, have fun, attend a lecture... and all want to do is crawl under my covers at 5 pm just as it will be getting dark with a good book or with a mindless magazine, but with a sense of completion of the day.

These realities crashing with my needs will be painful. I am really awed by those who manage to balance their needs with the needs of their families. I am also not so sure whether everyone is faking it, or those who claim to have it balanced really squelch somebody's needs down.

We are often told to have emunah, loosely translated as faith. Having any troubles in your life? work on your emunah. Things feel overwhelming? Your emunah is lacking. What I am really after is bitachon (security). Bitachon is a firm belief, backed by facts and realities on the ground. Bitachon is knowing that there are others who will catch you if you falter. Bitachon is knowing with certainty that you are not alone.Bitachon does not mean that there are no troubles, but bitachon is knowing, deeply and fully knowing, that things will turn out OK. Emunah causes anxiety, emunah is blind trust. Bitachon is lack of anxiety because there is no point in worrying (NOT an absence of worrying!)

I am a bit allergic to emunah, but I can squarely get behind bitachon.

(Yes, I know that G-d runs the show, that he is involved in my life, that everything is for the best, that it is easier to believe G-d won't give you more than you can handle, that it is all a test, that I should not sweat small stuff, be grateful for what I have. However, until these resonate as truths and not as platitudes, they are pointless)

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