For some reason, I’m particularly in-tune with the Omer count this year. Almost each day so far, the reading in my Omer App have struck a chord; as if they were written just for me.
But today’s Omer count takes the cake.
Here’s what my Omer App says:
“Day 11: Netzach She-be-Gevurah, Eternity within Restraint
When a dentist drills out a decayed tooth he is acting with netzach she-be-gevurah. In the short term it is painful, and requires strength, but in the long term it will prevent further pain. Netzach views the long term gain within the short term pain or loss.”
The Apps “Action Points” continue by proscribing the following: “If you are having a problem in a relationship do what need to be done no matter how uncomfortable it is for you. Look at the long term.”
“Give up something which is hazardous to your health. Cut down on smoking, coffee, red meat, whit four, sugar or anything else which is bad for you in the long term. Think Netzach!”
This basically sums up my self-imposed mission as of late. Over the past year or so, I’ve been distancing myself from unhealthy relationships – something the Rabbis taught about in Pirkei Avot among other places. Although stepping back from some of those relationships has been incredibly painful, what has enabled me to stay the course is the knowledge that ultimately, I was doing what was in my best interest; what would keep me healthiest and happiest in the long run. Whatever grief I feel at the losses is off-set by the hope and excitement I have about my future and by the energy-shift I feel in my life when I stop spending my emotional energy on those who don’t return the favor and make space for healthier relationships with those who truly care about (and take care of) me.
And then there’s the whole Weight Watchers adventure I’ve been on since New Year’s Day. 17 pounds and counting! Yesterday one of my congregants told me I was melting away (“like the Wicked Witch, except, you’re not wicked” she said)! And don’t get me wrong. There are morning when I’m tempted to trade in my Nutra-blast for a bowl of cereal (I MISS CEREAL) but whatever cravings I have – whatever feelings of loss I have over cereal or warm bread at restraunts or snacking without restraint – is offset every time I look in the mirror, and every time I think about the example I’m setting for my friends, family and community.
Netzach she-be-gevurah is not just a one-day-a-year thing for me. At least not this year. And maybe in years to come, Day 11 of the Omer Count will remind me of the time in my life when I worked hard to turn away from my unhealthy habits.
I’m proud of myself and I hope, when I look back on the Days 11 to come, that I will be able to reconnect with that sense of pride annually.