Today is eight days, which is one week and one day of the Omer, Chesed of Gevurah, Love in Discipline.
The aspect of discipline I am least likely to exhibit. My steadfast belief in rules, order, and fairness have often led me to anger and vitriol. May I always remember that the pure essence of discipline is love. Having a clear-eyed vision of the virtues which should guide our interactions requires understanding the true freedom of a life aligned to higher values can never be fully attained. As Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Lialdi teaches in the Tanya, we are all benonim, intermediate ones – neither fully righteous nor fully wicked. As a benoni, I must always honor the sacred essence of others and judge behavior with love for my sisters and brothers. We are all flawed souls on the journey to freedom.
I struggle with these truths, and so my words are marginally coherent. I dedicate this day to deepening my ability to discipline my children with love, helping them discover their whole brains, and their innate ability to walk gently and true.