Posted on Aug 30, 2020 | 0 comments

Sometimes you just have to let go!

During Elul we have to look in the mirror and face ourselves. Sometimes it requires us to ‘let go’ of various things. It may be old habits, situations – anything that becomes toxic in your life.

From the “Song of Songs” we get the name—Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li  – “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me“.  What can we learn from this poignant phrase?

Well, again we see that the initiative begins with the self—“I am.”

The self turns toward “my beloved” .  According to this verse, we don’t exist for ourselves, we exist for our beloved. And what happens when we exist for our beloved, when we care more about our beloved than we do about ourselves? Our beloved ‘is for me‘.  When you let go of yourself in the Hebrew sense it means you are suspending yourself.

What are the benefits of ‘suspending yourself’ or letting go of yourself? When you are able to do that, when you are able to let go, you will have the ability to hear what the other person has to say. When you are able to actually suspend yourself and hear what the person has to say, you then have the ability to love that person for who he is, not who you think he is. The sages say that being able to do this is how we can truly ‘see God‘.  We all want to learn how to let go don’t we? I know I do, but it is something truly difficult for me to do. So many times I find myself listening to respond, rather tan listening to hear. Why is it so hard?

According to Rabbi Jacobson, one reason it is so hard is because we all have a fear of letting go! We may know how to swim but when you’re standing at the deep edge of the pool, thinking about jumping in, the fear of that moment of suspension after we jump, sometimes overpowers our knowledge of our ability to swim! In other words, when we let go of ourselves, the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of not being in control, overpowers our belief in Yahweh’s complete control of everything.

So how do we get ahold of ourselves and let go? Many times, this is when we need someone we trust to simply … well, push us in! It’s called a mentor. We all need mentors in various areas of our lives.

Ask yourself:  Think about the times where you have not been able to let go of yourself, your ego, your agenda. Think of the times when you were listening to respond, instead of listening to just hear. Is this one of those areas where you need a push in the right direction? Do you have a mentor, someone you can truly trust?

Exercise for the day: Examine your journal that you have been keeping and look for a thread that runs through the habits you’ve listed, the areas in your life that need a mentor to help push you forward. If you don’t have a mentor, pray that the Holy One will open your eyes and heart to someone that will be able to push you in the right direction with love and mercy.

Let Go

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