Letting Go

The Lord said to Moses, “See! I have made you a lord over Pharaoh.” אוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה רְאֵ֛ה נְתַתִּ֥יךָ אֱלֹהִ֖ים לְפַרְעֹ֑ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֥ן אָחִ֖יךָ יִֽהְיֶ֥ה נְבִיאֶֽךָ:

There are times when our animal drive (our inner Pharoah) seems strong, and the best way to overcome it is to use our power to confidently demand that it go.

The same is true with our mission to oppose negativity in the world. Just as G-d commanded Moshe to address Pharoah respectfully, we must convey G-d’s message in a positive way,

However, we must also approach our negative inner voice, and the negativity of the world, fearlessly and with confidence.

If we stay connected to G-d, His message, and our mission, we can break the power of darkness and help bring the redemptive light to ourselves and the world.

But we must do so verbally with strength, confidence and grace.

I was away.

Physically and mentally.

I went to a treatment center to fight the demons inside.

There were group counseling sessions and individual therapy. It was like prison and hospitalization and heaven all mixed together.

Humans coming together to battle the darkness with legal drugs, connection with others, and food. There were three meals a day lovingly prepared and served with kindness.

I prayed and wrote and prayed some more. And I ate the packaged kosher meals that were brought in for me.

I took walks back and forth across the supervised pavement with the other patients who shared their stories.

I listened to the stories of the techs and nurses and therapists in the hallway outside my room and in the corridors.

And attended 12-step meetings and heard stories of rock bottom, of prison and dependence and detox and renewal. I breathed and slept and showered and did my make-up.

The people there were raw, egoless beings who had seen the devil in men’s clothing and sought refuge in a Higher Power, also dressed as men and women.

That is where you can really see G-d — in the love and kindness of others.

In their struggles to break free of something that has consumed them — drugs and alchohol in order to ease the pain of abuse or to quiet the voices — they landed in a place of healing.

I spent five days with them, including Shabbat. There, in that unusual space, free from the responsiblities of daily life, I read and prayed and listened and talked.

The first day nearly broke me, stripped of my freedoms and possessions, and any dignity I may have shlepped in there with me.

But when those things are gone, real grace can shine through. The Divinity within is always there — no one can take it away.

I played a role, however. I was not like them. So I couldn’t let my real struggles show.

The truth is, we are all innately healthy. It’s always there, within us, that undamaged piece of Divinity wanting to shine.

When anything else shows up, like my inner Pharoah, to control my thoughts and speech and actions, I must confidently and forcefully say, “You must go.”

I have a mission from G-d, and you’re getting in my way.

I must let you go. And let G-d run my show.

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