What does it really mean to be a member of Israel? To be one who struggles with forces larger than yourself?
… being in a state of perpetual questioning. “Is what I’m doing enough? Am I on the right path? How can I best express my potential?”
… being frustrated that I can’t live up to what I know is true.
… I begrudgingly get back up every time I fall down.
… awareness that I am not the ground of myself and can’t explain how I came to be. Being aware of the mystery of what brought me forth into existence, wanting to understand it, but knowing it’s beyond my mind to comprehend.
… withstanding the temptation of easy answers, to resist turning the Mystery into something I can grasp because it would be easier to relate to it that way.
… living in the uncertainty as to whether or not any of this will amount to anything.
… looking into the absurdity, ruthlessness, and brutality, and still making the choice to love, despite everything.
… wondering how to apply all those nice sounding New Age slogans about loving yourself, accepting the world as it is, and living without fear.
… you wonder why we don’t look at each other in the metro.
… you think twice when you pass by someone asking for change, and wonder whether giving a smile is really enough.
… you don’t know what to do about the world’s suffering, or even if you should try to do something about it.
… fighting against the current of what most people say is important and meaningful, because you don’t want to invest yourself in ephemeral pleasures and hollow identities.
… feeling the truth of how vulnerable we all are, not just to forces outside our control, but also to each other’s words and actions.
… truly feeling the constraints of finitude, knowing that death is certain but its time is uncertain.
… riding a roller coaster of emotions, from the highest joy to the darkest despair, and then signing up to go on the ride again.
… knowing full well there’s a rascal inside you, but also that the harder you try to rid yourself of it, the more you’re just trying to replace this ‘lower ego’ with a ‘higher’ one.
… wondering when I need to be gentle with myself versus when I really need to try a little bit harder.
… wondering if anyone out there is listening, if anyone can see the real me behind all the masks.
If you’ve been asking yourself these types of questions…welcome to the club. You are Israel, even if you have no connection to Judaism.
Meditation: What has struggling meant for you? hare your thoughts below.