How My Soul is Etched by the Divine

This piece is part of the series, “Readers Take Over Hevria”

“Your experience touching the Divine. Up close, personal, vulnerable. I want to read about your mistakes and your tikkunim and how you woke up and made a change – a shift.”

So you want me to talk about Gd.

No – you want me to talk about my Gd.

About a lightening-bolt moment of awareness that brought me an understanding so sublime there was no room to deny

Him.

Hmmm.

But I can’t.

See, while I have most definitely experienced Gd’s Hand In My Life and

Turning Points and

Aha – Moments and

Life Lessons

that hit me deep, into my deepest deep,

For me (and my Gd)

it’s not about that.

Because as much as I can chase those euphoric moments of spiritual ecstasy or existential clarity, how often do they really come? And when they do, what do they really teach me?

There’s this beautiful prayer we say every Yom Kippur — and every year, as I say the words, I cry.

“Just like the clay in the hands of the potter, who, when he wishes expands it and when he wishes contracts it; so are we in Your hand.”

I relate to this so strongly.

Because as much as I can be super intense and larger-than-life and want to experience my Gd in the most full, grand, obvious ways

Always

This is how my soul is etched by the Divine:

Through the small caresses of life’s mundane moments as they create grooves into my soul – marks of happiness, despair, failure, triumph, fulfillment.

Like a piece of clay softened in the hands of a sensitive, knowing artist,

I feel Gd hold me, mold me, move through me

as I take the shape

I am meant to.

“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”

So yes, there are those transformative, Super Big Moments

Where I come to terms with how malleable I truly am

But I cannot capture my experience of Gd in some kitschy story

Because mostly I encounter Him while trying so hard to navigate those little moments in life.

Every time I am about to lose my temper with a child and I hold myself back, just barely, trying to breathe through the anger and scorn

Every time I answer my mother’s phone call through gritted teeth even when I am not in the mood to talk (or listen)

Every time I squash that bitter, negative, jealous voice in my head

Or give the microphone to the cheerleader who is tired of sitting on the sidelines.

Every time I allow myself to feel comfort in the silence, in the lonely, in the plain

Every time I try to be sensitive to someone who needs me, even when I’m feeling so callous and drained

Every time I push through the pain

Every time I choose to empathise instead of letting judgement reign

Every time I decide to love my husband and remember the good

And especially

Every time I fail.

I feel those grooves of light and love

etch my soul

deep, into my deepest deep

The drip, drip, drip of growing awareness

The clay surrounding the crudeness in me getting

Softer and softer.  

And in those moments that I let Him in

In those moments that a whisper is enough to shatter the sound barrier

I experience a tikkun

a change

a shift

Like no other.