This is the day of Gevurah within Yesod, discipline within connection. On this day, I think about the hard work of building and sustaining relationships with other people. I think about the power of forgiveness, of reconciliation, and even of kind and well-timed criticism.
This is going to date me. When I was a kid, there was a popular novel followed by a popular movie called Love Story. The catchphrase of the story of star-crossed lovers was, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Oh boy, did they get that wrong.
Love is work. Maintaining a true and vibrant connection with other people means being willing to bend and stretch along with the challenges of your life and theirs. It means honesty, even when it is difficult (something that Oliver Barrett IV never really learned). And it means saying you're sorry … a lot.
There is a certain kind of strength that one needs to be connected with other people. It is not the strength of complaining loudly, nor is it the ability to weather the angry complaints of others. It is the strength of discipline – the ability to see oneself as one really is, to grow in awareness of ones tendencies and foibles, and to make corrections on an ongoing, never-ending basis to meet the reasonable needs of others and to have ones own reasonable needs met, too.
On this 37th day of the Counting of the Omer, I commit to building relationships through discipline. I keep up the work of listening, paying attention, of negotiating and meeting halfway, of forgiving and asking for the forgiveness of others. May this be a day in which you deepen your relationships by being an active participant in the process of being and becoming a friend, partner and lover.
For the introduction to the Counting of the Omer, click on this link:
The First Day of the Counting of the Omer