#BlogElul 5776 #ElulGram – Elul 11: Trust

Donkey
Photo by Antranias on Pixabay.com

Trust is easier said than done.

For some reasons, we tend to record one bad experience as a rule for all what will happen in the future, should a slightly similar experience present itself.

The habit of expressing gratitude for all kinds of experiences is difficult to accept: being thankful for even a traumatic experience seems counterintuitive. However, only practicing gratitude can build a trust muscle that will flex enough to turn bad experiences into learning experiences.

I remember the first time I learned how to mistrust a grown-up: I was a child and had been going regularly to the dentist because of many issues with my teeth. The dentist was a wonderful man and his assistant a sweet and gentle younger man who never failed at holding my hand when I was asking him to do so if I was afraid of what the dentist wanted to do in my mouth. Both of them were kind and giving me time to ask questions and get my answers before they could start working. I never suffered any pain and it was never a visit that I was fearing, even if they were very frequent visits.

I remember one extraordinary day that my mom took me to another place, not the regular dentist, we did not have to take the metro (I am talking about the time I lived in Paris), we walked to that place, and I can still point the building to whoever would ask me. I don’t remember the name of that dentist, and I don’t remember why I had not been taken to MY regular gentle dentist, but I just remember that he abruptly told me that “it would not hurt me” and started to quickly operate on removing a tooth in the back of my mouth after he cauterized with some blowtorch or so it seemed to me, that scared the hell out of me.

The pain of this tooth extraction felt excruciating.

I was out of that place very quickly for sure, and in tears and furious that I had been lied to. I resented the entire world and my mother for the betrayal. Because of such experience, I learned distrust very young and I started to add suspicion, wariness, and doubt to my outlook on adults who were not listening to me, or giving me time to process. Even when they were not dentists! I extended one bad experience to all slightly similar experiences: someone may have little patience with me because in a hurry, not because of me, and I tend to consider the person as menacing or threatening me. It made the world a pretty difficult place to navigate and to compensate, I became too naive and unsuspecting of real abusive behaviors when they came my way.

In the Jewish tradition, we learn of a wonderful character named Nachum Ish Gamzu because his favorite quote was “גמ זו לטובה” gam zu l’tova which means “this too, is for the good”. There are numerous stories about him, both in folk tales and also in the Talmud, and he fascinated me because of his attitude in life that made it possible for him to turn the most horrible adventures and experiences into something natural and positive. And everything actually turns out good in the end if we learn to trust that it will: because each story can be read with different angles, and some unexpected outcomes of the misery come to light when least expected (or remain unknown but will unfold in the future).

So in the end what good was this evil dentist? I am telling the story today! and pain is always forgotten: no need for us to add the mental and emotional pain of resentment and anger. Let us trust others and give them the benefit of the doubt to release our fears, and this too, will be for the best!

 

This year, I have committed to a daily blog in English to participate in @imabima’s project of Elul. I will dedicate my endeavor for the רפואה שלמה complete healing of   מרדכי אלעזר בן חנה מרים (Mordechai ben Chanah).

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Travel or staying grounded – #Trust30


Jerusalem
Image by Synne Tonidas via Flickr

I am not so sure that I can identify with today’s prompt statement (see below): I am very adamant to traveling. I certainly have travelled a lot, and it hasn’t diminished my reluctance. The place I prefer to be most is home, it feels safe and new all the time, it brings me peace and more than often wonders and pleasure.

I am certainly curious of all the other places in the world: I am loving traveling accounts, stories, books, photographs, movies, documentaries. I like to hear what friends tell when they come back from their travels. And of course, I love retelling my own travels, the places I have been too, and how wonderful it was to be in a new place that felt different, and that was unknown.

But I can’t plan ahead. I can’t think of anywhere that I have heard of that is attractive enough for me to dream going to. Even this place deep in my heart that I remind myself is where I will end my life, most probably, called Jerusalem, but even this city is not a place I want to actually “visit” and see: I just want to be able to be part of its life, maybe, if and when it is happening.

This was my today’s entry to the thirty day writing challenge #Trust30  that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

Author: Chris Guillebeau

Read the author online

One strong belief on my own – #Trust30

Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Image by Kevin H. via Flickr

The #Trust30 project is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?

(Author: Buster Benson)

I strongly believe that we can survive with less. Of course, this is said from the point of view of someone who lives in the very rich part of the world, the one that wastes and pollutes, and consumes, and sells, and rules the most – or most of the time.

So it is probably easy for me to say. However, I keep my belief strongly alive, and cultivate it my own way, with as much humility as I can. I am honest that I am not living that frugally, but I do admire and respect those who do so.

I try to encourage people around me to grow what can be grown at no cost or expense, that is good feelings, kindness, a sense of sharing, knowledge and acceptance, all that cost nothing, and if given away, do not leave you depleted at all.

Today – #Trust30

Zdenac života Ivana Meštrovića iz 1905. godine...
Image via Wikipedia

Today’s prompt:

Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tracks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.

(Author: Liz Danzico)

Moda_ani

 

I surrender to Your essential Being, King Source of all Being, Source of Life, Sustaining, for You have recharged me with my breath of Life, with compassion: great is Your faithfullness.

Fifteen minutes #Trust30

RECICLADO2
Image via Wikipedia

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. Sign up on this page to receive the prompts by email. 

Prompt:
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live. 1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

Fifteen minutes. I have fifteen minutes. My heart is racing like mad. I feel so warm inside. My legs refuse to take me where I should go to escape, and I am staring at that clock that is counting minutes and seconds down. Already fourteen left.

They called and told me the angel was coming to pick me up, for the big trip, you know, the one you never come back from. I wasn’t expecting such a bad news, but I know when the door opens, it’s going to be over for me. What should I do?

I am calm. Just very hot inside. And my mind is racing. Who should I tell? who needs to hear the bad news before it has actually happened? Did I dry the laundry? What about the garbage? Tomorrow is pick-up day: it feels a little ridiculous to waste five entire minutes to run to the dumpster doesn’t it?

I didn’t tell my sons to clean up the living-room, they’ll probably know what to do, when they find out that everyone will come home to sit shivah with them. I don’t think they will remember that I had told them the room should always be ready for the unexpected, now they will think about what I had told them countless times, it will make sense. Shh… these are stupid thoughts, only ten minutes left, maybe I’d better tweet my friends or update my facebook status after all. But, hey? what to say, it sounds a little alarming.

I should rather make sure my passwords are accessible, in case I can’t even finish this post: it would then be silly that I had spent the last fifteen minutes of my life writing my best piece ever and that it never gets published.

I see some weeds around the rose bushes, my mother is certainly going to do something about it, I don’t need to go out and take them away, that’s a nice thoughtful tribute, and that will make her smile that I thought of her right now.

I have no outstanding bill. I could give the garage a call to let them know I will be a no-show tomorrow? Who cares? Never mind, they will find out. Fifteen minutes is not a lot. I should have sorted the papers when it was time, I will write a note to apologize for the mess, and all the stuff I kept and liked keeping that will make no sense to anyone. I didn’t mean to burden you with all this clutter. I promise that if I had been given a second chance, let’s say a couple of weeks, well, yes, I would have gone through it. Well, maybe not, I am sure I would have found other things to do to procrastinate again.

Three minutes left, that is just enough I suppose: now, I should calm down a little. I don’t want to look panicked. I want to look pretty and smiling, life is the most beautiful thing ever, it would reflect badly if I had been showing up like my last three minutes of them, I was ugly, tense and afraid. Here, let’s work on breathing deeply, for a minute. That’s all that’s left as a matter of fact.

A deep breath, and a big smile. Oh and let’s write it here too: love to all of you.