“When I was young, I set out to change the world. When I grew a little older, I perceived that this was too ambitious, so I set out to change my state. This too, I realized as I grew older, was too ambitious, so I set out to change my town. When I realized I could not even do this, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man, I know that I should have started by changing myself. If I started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded in changing my family, the town, or even the state- and who knows, maybe even the world!"
-written by an anonymous Hassidic Rabbi on his deathbed
In this season, the quote of the Hassidic Rabbi continues to be brought to mind. I can easily get caught up in my own world and not take the honest assessment of myself. It is way more fun to dream big than realize I need to apologize to my husband. This quarantine season feels like a gift of time and space to see myself and change myself.
How do I see myself? How do I change myself? The COVID season is reminding me of early marriage. In the early months of marriage I was confronted by a more accurate reality of who I really was, for both better and worse. It felt like someone held up a mirror to me. I was blown away by how inaccurate my view of myself was! I am way harder on myself in some areas, while glossing over the uglier sides of myself. I learned I was way more selfish than I thought, I valued my opinions more than others, I liked doing things my way and on my time schedule. On the other hand, I learned I was a bit of a bad ass! Deeply loved by friends and family, talented and impactful. Despite my insecurities and self-doubt, I was doing a good job at work, friendships and life. I feel like God used my husband's voice to communicate more accurately how God sees and loves me. (Thanks Sam :)
I feel like I'm back in that season...nothing like a new marriage or a quarantine to hold up a mirror! I have been both encouraged and challenged. Wow, my temper can be short and my patients even shorter! I love my to-do list and my agenda. I get squirmy when I get bored. I can take out my emotions/stress on others. I like to be right, I can be greedy and selfish. In the same breath, I have had gifts revealed and affirmed during this season. I am a visionary, who has passion and gifts to see others healed, whole and set free to live a full life. I bring life, energy, positivity and joy. I am a creative mom, who is getting to know and love her kids. I am a fun/positive quarantine buddy and a good friend. Most of all I'm learning that God has spoken and is speaking to me. He has things to tell me today! He is with me. He wants me to know my true identity and exchange the lies. He wants me to exchange my burdens for his gifts. He wants me to be interruptible (not guided by my to-do list) and engage with Him.
I hope I/we can continue to engage in the work of changing ourselves and our families, so when this is all over we can change our cities and of course, the world!