Monday, January 23, 2006

Level of Difficulty

Whatever you do... NEVER tell G-d that you want to have more faith.

Well, actually, you should of course, but before you do you should be prepared for what is to come. He thinks much more highly of us than we do ourselves when it comes to what we think we can handle.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Ride of My Life

When I first started the conversion process someone said to me that it would be like a roller coaster ride. I was amused of course, but didn't have any idea what they were talking about.

Since then I have been moving right along, learning prayers, saying blessings, going to shul, classes... anything and everything that I could do to make me Jewish ASAP. But apparently I lost sight of something along the way because Hashem has seen fit to bring all that to a screeching halt. I must say I'm not happy about it. I was quite content to just roll along and do whatever it is that makes you Jewish. But recently, I was forced to look at the fact that the path I was on would be doing no more than I had as a Christian... what I was TOLD to do. Now I have to look at the WHY.... but why, I want to know, is the why so important. I've been racking my brains for days. And although I'm sure the answer is right there in front of me, it doesn't come. What difference does it make. I honestly don't understand why every person who comes to believe that Judaism is true doesn't just convert anyway.

Once you determine that something is truth, why ask why?

I think perhaps this stems from some leftover Christian programming, that in the long run would make it very hard for me to be Jewish or to have a real relationship with G-d... the kind He reallys wants to have with us. Or perhaps doing what I'm told without questioning is just easier. It comes naturally... I am the oldest of six children after all. Perhaps actually getting to know G-d terrifies me. Sometimes I don't pray for things, just because He will probably answer me and then I am confronted on another level with His reality.... if that makes any sense.

And although I am thankful that He loves me enough to make me think, I am also incredibly frustrated that this is so hard for me.

With hope that this stomach-in-my-throat plunge will soon swing upwards once again on the roller coaster that is conversion to Judaism and knowing that there is a reason for it all, I continue...


Thursday, January 05, 2006


Complete darkness
No voice answers
Cold, alone
Left in a daze, unprepared
Crushed beneath the weight of disbelief

The throat aches from too many tears
The heart breaks, too heavy with fear

Will tomorrow come, it seems unlikely
Swallowed up by the pain... desparately searching for a reason
to put one foot in front of the other

He whispers my name... I follow.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Spending wisely

I have recently learned some very good spending habits which have certainly made my life a lot better. It wasn't easy. It took a good two years to develop a spending plan that really seems to work for me and it is something that I continually refine as my life changes. For me the key to managing money was learning to live within the boundaries of the amount I make.

It occured to me today that what I learned about money can be applied to every aspect of life. Time management, food management (eating healthy) and one I had never thought of before... emotional management. I realized today (after having a good talk with a dear friend) that there have been many times (too many times) in my life that I have put myself into emotional bankruptcy. And just as I learned about money, I don't have to do that. Certainly there are emergencies that can't be avoided; that's a part of life. There are stressful situations in which we find ourselves unexpectedly. But even with money there is a category all by itself to save for the unexpected.

My emotional energy is just as precious and valuable as my money or my time. I need to be just as careful not to 'overdraw' my emotional bank account by planning too many emotionally draining events too close together, so that I have time to build up my reserves in between.

This past holiday season I didn't allow myself any space for mourning the fact that for another year my family still isn't and never will be the safe haven I had always hoped they would be. I just went thru the days as if they were no different from any other. Then my niece came to visit for a whole week, which was wonderful, but brought with it all the painful memories of how I was raised as a child. I see it happening to her and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. Then she leaves and I never took into consideration how much I was going to miss her and at the same time feel guilty for being glad to have the house all to myself again.

In the meantime, I am of absolutely no good to anyone around me because I have allowed myself to be completely spent.

I am most grateful for my friends. They are the balance in my life. They truly love me no matter what and love me enough to point out when I am acting like I've lost my mind. Sometimes they are the only way that I know something is wrong. But with G-d's help I will change that. I will be working on a new spending plan... an emotional spending plan. And the first thing I need to learn is my limits. How much can I handle? What times am I stronger/weaker than others? What emotionally draining events can be avoided, which can by limited and how can they all be on my own terms?

thankful for your continued prayer and support.... OTR

Strength in weakness

I am learning. Learning that admitting I can't handle something doesn't mean I am inadequate. It means I am honest. It means I have a clear perspective of what I can handle versus what I am not (and may never be) prepared to handle.

This is particularly difficult when it comes to family and when you have been raised with a 'hero' (the need to save the world) complex all your life.

I am much better than I ever was before as I had cut off from my family for many years. But recently I tried again, thinking I could be of some help and perhaps make up for all of the years that I couldn't be there for them.

I have learned things that I thought I already knew. That you can't help those who don't want to be helped, you can't make them want to be helped and anything done out of guilt, even the tiniest little bit only makes things worse.

I've learned that I can not, nor do I have to, stand by and watch my sisters continue to allow themselves to be used. I don't have to watch my siblings continually bullied by my father. I have chosen to walk away from that life and to live among people who have chosen sanity. I can only work on me. And when my sisters decide to walk away in search of help, they know where to find me. I have learned that I cannot go back to where they are to help them. I can only go forward and pave a path that they may one day choose to follow.

continuing... OverTheRainbow