I broke my head this week trying to write an article that sounds refreshed — something new, something different.
Because someone suggested, “Let’s refresh.”
Well, one hour turned into four as I read article after article doing research and my brain broke and my spirits fell while trying so hard to be something, someone I’m not.
Actually, I see it all the time. A request or a push by someone, even ourselves, to be something we are not. There’s a big difference between reaching our potential and trying to reach someone else’s idea of our potential.
I know someone whose teacher kept pushing her to go higher, read faster, do more, more, more. The student tried so hard to be that quick, bright student, but she couldn’t. Ultimately, she fell.
There’s a woman I know whose husband always wished she would be X, Y, and Z. And she tried and tried to be X, Y, and Z. But she was a G, H, and I.
She shared once, heartbreakingly, that even in the first hour of their marriage her husband tried to fix her hat to fall in a different way. The rest of her life she held this picture in her mind. Her husband wants to fix her. She’s not good enough as she is. She lived like this for years. Until one day she woke up, and with lots of help and siyata d’Shmaya, and said, “Hey, I’m G, and I am happy with that.”
The minute she accepted herself, so did her husband.
I have a friend who visits her elderly parents regularly. She’s a genius, a yiras Shamayim, a great wife, mother, and person, but dishes aren’t her thing. Her sisters, on the other hand, have dish towels over their shoulders all day, ready at any moment for a good clean-up. They help their parents in all kinds of physical ways, hardly leaving any room for this friend to pitch in. As soon as each visit starts, this friend starts to feel completely inadequate. We talk about it: “So dishes aren’t your thing. You give your parents nachas! You raised shining, yirei Shamayim grandchildren for them.” She accepted it this time. And off she went, ready to shine in her own way.
Her grandson came for Shabbos this week and said, “For the first time I’m happy, because I just accepted who I am.” It must be in the air, I thought.
A girl who trains horses once came to us. She said she loves to work with horses because they reflect the truth. If you’re scared or insecure, they bang up against you, or kick. If they feel you’re confident, they respect you.
Just like horses, I believe the world also reflects the truth. What works micro works macro. When we are secure within ourselves, accept ourselves as a people, a nation set apart for a purpose, so does the world. The minute we get insecure, and try to act like something we’re not, the world, like the horse, senses it, and reacts.
So when we ask, “Why does no one like me? Why do they move too close or too far away?” we need to look inside. Not out there. What I need to do to is be more true to me. And when I say me, I mean “Him.” Because when I accept me, it means I truly believe in “Him.” Because if this is how G-d made me, then it must be good. I must be good enough.
So, when the copy editor (who also happens to be a personal friend) sent back my heavily researched piece, saying, “Why don’t you write something more your style? Simple and personal, without all the facts and findings,” I thought, Right. Simple. Keep it simple.
There are those who are good at the complicated facts and findings. Not me. This is how G-d created me. What a relief. The whole encyclopedia off my shoulders.
Thank you, my copy editor and friend, for directing me back to me.