“Gam zeh ya’avor.” This too shall pass.
There’s some dark irony in this blog post, because I had every intent of writing it before the COVID-19 outbreak, but it oddly fits perfectly for the situation we’re in.
I’m the epitome of a realist, I think I get it from my father. I see things for what they are most of the time. I have moments of vibrant optimism and positivity; but that can quickly flip to the exact opposite and I can be the biggest cynic, and moments of fear and dread take over. So, the following blog should be an interesting dichotomy.
Now, there’s a school of thought that revolves around the power of positive thinking (which I rolled my eyes at when I was younger), but there is a yiddish saying that I learned a while back that’s made it’s place in my heart: “Tracht gut vet zein gut” — think good and it’ll be good. It’s actually a pretty loaded quote when you unpack it, but we’re not going to do tackle that today.
Then there’s another school of thought; mine. It’s a more realist thought process. There is absolutely no way to be positive and upbeat 100% of the time, I know there are some people who’ve rumored that it’s possible, but I really beg to differ. We’re humans! We have a variety of feelings and emotions!! We cannot always be happy!!! In fact, it might be unhealthy for us to always “be happy” or force ourselves to put on a positive facade. Denying ourselves the simple right of being able to feel whatever it is that we need to isn’t fair.
People often comment on my positivity and optimism, and I want to be the first to debunk that myth. While I really do try to put on a happy face, my feelings surrounding all that’s occurring within my life– within the world, are very nuanced. Being told that it’s “all for the good” or that “G-d will take care of it/us/you” isn’t nearly as consoling as one might think. While the sentiment is nice, it goes back to being nuanced.
If this too is for the good, why is there so much pain and suffering occurring? If this too is for the good, why is there illness…why do I have such illnesses? If this too is for the good, why am I barricading myself in my house so I don’t die? On the flip side of that coin; you’ve got the world more unified than ever before. Families are spending time together, and prayer is something that is being said almost naturally. We are in crazy times, yet there is still some glimmer of beauty and G-dliness. See? Nuanced.
I have a confession (whoops, wrong religion) — I can’t help but sit here and feel upset at G-d for the position He’s put us all in. Upset is also a massive understatement, I’m livid.
There’s probably a few of you who gasped; How dare I be mad at our Creator?! I must be an apikores (heretic)! I’m not, I promise. I’m just a woman who has layers of feelings and thinks that she and G-d could probably use couples therapy. And I wanted to say to all that feel the same way, that’s okay!
We’re taught to question, but not too much. We’re taught to try and understand, but only where it fits. Coming on here and saying, “I’m mad at Hashem and can’t really say that I’m His biggest fan right now.” Is a big deal. But here’s the thing; I can still be a frum and G-d loving Jew yet not always love what He is putting in front of me. That doesn’t mean I walk away and throw my belief in Him away. If anything, it shows how powerful that relationship is.
I’ve heard it said that arguing is natural and sometimes even healthy for couples, because it means there’s something worth fighting for. When I was in seminary I got that same advice from an amazing Rabbi, “The fact that you’re upset at Hashem is beautiful, because it’s your recognition that it all comes from Him. Psh, what a level to be at!” And from then on, I was never hard on myself for getting angry or upset at G-d again. In fact, I think it strengthened my relationship with Him.
Why am I writing this, now of all times?
1.) Because I feel like people need to hear this. It’s beautiful how much inspiration and positivity is floating around, but not everyone wants to hear that it’s going to be okay. Some of us need a nodding head, simple understanding, and compassion. Someone to say, “This freaking sucks. I’m right here with you.” No one person can accept things in the same way. This is my post to the people who needed to hear it, and feel validated. To the people who read posts and stories on Facebook and Instagram and want to roll their eyes because they can’t relate. They’re mad, scared, tired, seeing the reality verses the positives in this moment. We’re not downers or lacking faith, we’re just people who are facing a hard time and don’t really want to gloss over that.
2.) This. Is. Hard.
Nobody knows what to do, or how to deal with it. We are all keeping our heads above water, and it’s nice to be able to share those feelings with you all. When you keep intense feelings to yourself, that’s when the load becomes too much to bear, and since we’re all in this together (shout to High School Musical for getting a huge promo through COVID-19) we might as well have an understanding for one another.
I have the utmost faith in G-d and I know He will take care of us, because gam zeh ya’avor, but I’m also a human with complex emotions and feelings, and that’s okay.
We’re going to continue to make it through, that I believe.