I used to think of the three weeks and the nine days as a time of fear. Not just a feeling of being scared. It was an overwhelming fright of what will become of the world.
At this timing my anxiety would kick in. Until I was unable to function. It was as if I was feeling like if I felt successful today I must not be feeling the churban. As if it was a mitzvah for me to be dysfunctional.
Every year I look at the news with trepidation at this time. (Sadly, I don’t remember a year that I was proven wrong.) This year I’ve already hit upon it. It’s about Obama signing the treaty for the nuclear deal with Iran.
But then, I think.
ls this really what Hashem wants from me this week?
To become paralyzed from fear in order to be thinking about our sadness?
And then I think about rebuilding the Bais Haikdash. And the first thing that comes to mind is that we have Sinas Chinum.
So I tell myself, “let’s just fix this and get it over with!” Enough of all this theory! Let’s just all be friends!
But then, something comes in my way.
A girl, who triggers me. She hurts me. I don’t just react.
And then I feel even MORE guilty.
Why couldn’t I just have been a bit more mature? Why did I have to respond in such a childish way?
But it doesn’t help.
Cuz the next time this girl comes around, I react the same way.
So what am I doing wrong?
I then try a new method.
This time, I don’t BERATE myself. I don’t put myself DOWN. I don’t JUDGE, I don’t CRITICIZE. I don’t summon up every ounce of FRIGHT and FEAR within me.
I look at myself in the mirror and I say “YOU’RE OK! You are sad right now. You should be. This is a time of sadness. Sadness doesn’t mean paralysis. Sadness is just that word. SADNESS. Don’t add on anything to that emotion. Feel it. Touch it. Taste it. LIVE IT. That’s all youh need to do! Don’t add or complicate the emotion. ”
“And you want to change it? That’s ok. You want to stop crying forever? Good. You did something wrong? That’s also ok. You are human. You make mistakes. Now all you have to do is own up to it. Say I’M SORRY. That’s all. Don’t kill yourself. Don’t bring up every other negative emotion. Look at the reality and LIVE with it.”
And move on.
I assume that most people react to their emotions differently. Most people DOWNPLAY their emotions during this time. They MINIMIZE their fear so they have all the energy to take care of what they need to do.
For some reason, I was born on the other side. I DRAMATIZE my emotions in order to make them MORE real. I escalate the fear inside of me until I become physically paralyzed.
I’m starting to think that this will not lead me on an upward scale. I think I’m only sinking lower and lower…..
I don’t know if I’m so clear myself as to how to handle the emotions of this time. But I am realizing how the way of the past is NOT getting me very far.
Living in fear does not sit well with me in terms of being the child of G-d. Even when I’ve done something wrong!
If my child did something wrong and I had no choice but to send him to his room, what would I like to see from my child? Would I want him back to be speechless and terrified?
Or would I want him to cry, own up to his mistake and try harder next time.
I sometimes feel like I punish myself more than I’m being punished by G-d.