This is the day of Tiferet within Yesod, balance within connection. On this day, I think about creating balance in my relationships. I consider how I am open to the needs of others without ignoring my own needs. I consider how I assert myself without trampling on other people.
Building relationships – either a one-on-one partnership, or as part of a community – is all about balance. Relationships fail or become corrosive when one person or group dominates another. They succeed and thrive when each person is given an opportunity to shine where his or her soul is brightest.
Many relationships, friendships and communities begin with the domination of one person or a small group over others. That is natural. Often, the initial impetus to come together comes from the energy on one side. Eventually, though, a balance has to be reached in which everyone feels that the connection has a mutual give and take. If not, connections tend to fall apart when some person or group feels they are not being given a fair chance to shine.
Think about your most important relationships. Are there times when you, or other members of the relationships, feel left out? Ignored? Unimportant? Are there times when you feel like you're the only one putting energy into the relationship? Do you feel unappreciated? Exhausted? In order for human connections to work, there needs to be balance so everyone feels included and everyone feels appreciated.
The same is true for our relationship with God. If you expect God to do all the work in your relationship – grant your wishes, listen to your sorrows, forgive your sins – you will probably feel disappointed at some point. Your relationship has become unbalanced. Spend some more time thinking about what God wants and needs from you – your engagement and service to others, your commitment to spiritual practice, your willingness to accept responsibility for your shortcomings.
Of course, if you think you are the one doing all the work in your relationship with God, that will lead to imbalance, too. Appreciate what God has given you. Listen to the music of your life, even in times of hardship. Accept forgiveness and know that you are loved.
On this 38th day of the Counting of the Omer, I commit to noticing the give-and-take in my relationships. I commit to reengaging where I have been passive, and, where I have been too dominant, to give space for others to grow.
May this be a day in which you grow closer to others by finding balance. May you feel more connected to God by participating in the world around you, finding holiness in every moment, appreciating your blessings, and feeling how deeply loved you really are.
For the introduction to the Counting of the Omer, click on this link:
The First Day of the Counting of the Omer