Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, in her blog The Velveteen Rabbi, says,
This week I find myself asking: how can I be kinder and more loving? To those I meet -- to the people I know, and the people I don't know -- to those who agree with me, and even those who angrily disagree with me? How can I be kinder to myself -- how can I do the work of discerning what my heart and soul most need, and then kindly and graciously filling that need for myself? Can I feel, deep in my bones, that the universe is a kind and loving place for me to be? Can I extend lovingkindness to myself, and then once I am feeling whole and healed, extend it to those I meet?As always, Rabbi Rachel encourages us to look deep inside ourselves. I'm new to the idea of counting Omer, but I'm in a mental/emotional place where taking some time to count my blessings is a good idea. I need to focus on the positive, and this seems like such a wonderful way to do it!
My life is full of love and kindness. Here I am with a broken ankle, and while I'm moving much better now than I was before, sis still fetches and carries for me, and fusses over me to make sure I don't over extend myself. Gray is there to curb my burgeoning enthusiasm for movement, and to hug and hold me when I chafe at my limitations. The children have been awesome about getting me ice packs and bringing me their favorite toys to keep me happy and comforted. I am surrounded in a circle of chesed, unending. Even my own bad temper and inexplicably horrid behavior hasn't broken that circle, something which I am eternally grateful for.
It isn't so easy for me to love myself. Especially right now, I'm struggling with that horrid behavior, trying to find meaning in what I did so that I don't repeat my awful mistake. I'm finding it difficult to forgive myself, and even to accept forgiveness from those I've hurt. I want it, but I'm afraid that if I accept it, I will somehow become egotistical or will forget the bad parts in favor of the forgiveness. I need to find the ability to feel loving kindness toward myself, to allow myself to heal. I also have to express that loving kindness toward my family, who have supported me through all this, and been there even in my darkest moments.
Divine Powers, I pray to feel and accept the chesed expressed toward me, and to treat others with as much loving kindness as I can bear. Help me to find the balance between guilt and healing, so that I may move forward in service to all. Amen.