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Do you Feel Like a Hamster on a Wheel?

Thursday, 16 May, 2019 - 8:04 pm



Do you feel like a hamster on a wheel trying to keep sane? Between all the responsibilities we have in life today, combined with the incessant stream of information some worthwhile, some nonsensical, coming our way and then our own journey of personal development and growth, it is a surprise that any of us are sane. 

One of the ways to liberate ourselves from this craziness is to be clear about what is in our ability to control and change and what is out of our control. When we have that clarity we are able to only stress (if you choose to) about the things that we actually have control over.

The tension, lack of clarity and the place in which we take the most responsibility is in our own personal development.

Oftentimes we think that we have the full ability to change our character if we just try hard enough. And while it is true that we can always control what we think, say or do, we can’t always change who we are internally.

When we can let go of the result (the internal change) and focus on what we do have control over (our thoughts, speech and action) then we can liberate ourselves from the hamster wheel.

The secret sauce is captured in this week’s Torah portion in regards to the Mitzvah of counting the Omer, the days between Passover and Shavous.

The Torah instructs us to count from the morrow of the Shabbat. The Shabbat in this case being a reference to the first day of Passover. Among the reason why the Torah chooses to use these words is to capture the above message.

The period of the counting is a time of personal development. We grow each day as we count working our character. The goal being to be ready for the receiving of the Torah and the Revelation at Sinai on the 50th day.

One might think that they can be ensured success just by trying. Therefore the Torah tells us, that the success of the journey is dependent on us counting on the day after the Shabbat, we need the transcendent energy of Shabbat, the empowerment from Above, from Hashem to succeed at that inner transformation.

So the next time you are stressing over your inner transformation, take a moment and turn to the source of success and ask Hashem to help you through it. Then once you are done praying, focus on what is in your control to do to create that transformation, your thoughts, your speech and your actions.

Good Shabbos!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 


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