From time to time, I get emails back from people who read this newsletter. Sometimes they say, “That’s a great idea, Rabbi Brian. I love what you’re talking about, but I can’t actually do it.”
Here’s the good news: it might not matter! It might not matter whether or not you actually act upon the issues you merely realized are yours to deal with. (Of course, issues get better when treated with both time and attention, but the point here is that the “attention” might not be as imperative as I had originally thought.)
No matter what the goal is – treating ourselves kindly, not beating ourselves up, not seeing other people as evil, being at peace, or making relaxation a priority – having a certain path to that goal isn’t always necessary.
Fritz Perls the brilliant German psychiatrist said,
“Awareness is, in itself, curative.”
Ponder that for a moment.
It means that simply being AWARE of your desire to reach a particular destination will help you get there, regardless of knowing the path.
Once a seed is planted, it waits patiently for water, and then, when the time is right, it begins to grow.
So maybe the path to your spiritual-religious goal will appear without you actively seeking it?
Let me geek out on math-physics-science for a moment. In the past I used to liken religion to being a goal with a path to it. I’m now thinking that more fitting religion is a location in time and space with a trajectory from it. That is, what’s important isn’t knowing the exact location of the goal as much as the vector knowing where you are and the direction you are headed.
Try it. Ease up on your “self-help” and just be. See what happens. If only for this week.
This week’s spiritual-religious advice: