Thirty-six days of the Omer: Lovingkindness in Bonding

Today is thirty-six days, which is five weeks and one day of the Omer. חסד שביסוד, Chesed ShebeYesod, Lovingkindness in Bonding.

My picture choice is not only a reflection of the awe-inspiring process of nurturing souls to independence. It’s true, I need to meditate on the spiritual aspects of parenting and remind myself that my journey is not the only one occurring. In fact, nothing I’m doing is as important as what I can do for the people around me, starting with my partner and my children.

The child within clings to you

Right, but that’s not the main point of this picture. Look again and think about the child within yourself. Think about all the parts of you that you’ve tucked away to create a more “adult” you. Or a more professional you. Or a more educated you. Think about all the parts of you that are buried in the shadows of you, yearning for a chance to be guided into the light.

The hand clasping your’s is the hand of infinite possibility. A person builds barriers around herself, holding inner desires and other people at a distance. These barriers are natural and help us survive growing up. But they need to be released to find real transformation.

Breaking the wheel of unhealthy habits

I’ve been chipping away at my armor for fifteen years. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I woke up to how asleep I was in my own life. It’s been a slow process — and no, I do not credit cancer with this transformation. But I do mark cancer as the turning point in my life. I realized I needed to take responsibility for creating the life I want to live. And I painfully felt the lack of spiritual guidance in my life. It took a year for me to go from that insight to joining my uncle for Shabbat services at his shul. And it took many years before I fully internalized that being of service to others, deep lovingkindness, is the foundation of bonding.

We cannot stay rooted to our ideals living in a bubble. At the end of the day, the foundation of life is our relationships. More than any words I write or read, how I act around other people is the true test of my merit.

Practically, for me, this means placing firmer boundaries on my use of social media. It means taking a moment to detox from screens and refocus on the humans in front of me. Our families deserve our full attention. Our time together is so precious, and so fleeting.

May you find the action that will manifest the Lovingkindness of Bonding in your life. And may you be deeply bonded to the child within.

Previously on this day in the Omer

36 Days of the Omer 5778 / 2018: Embrace full-throated love.

36 Days of the Omer 5777 / 2017: Selfless love connects covenantal communities.

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