Today one of my children carefully asked me for something and at first I was not understand why she was asking me so carefully. Then, I realized what she was actually asking for and I immediately said “Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry, but no”. Angrilly she said “I knew it!” and stomped off. I went inside and intuitively I knew to call a friend of mine; a young woman who is much closer to my daughters age than mine. I shared with her the context of the conversation and I was able to see how my “No” was based on MY OWN STUFF. I was able to see where I was triggered, sort through my own feelings, and stay solid in my current values. With my thinking on a new plane, I was able to approach my daughter and say to her that my initial reaction was about my own stuff. I told her (in her language) that I completely appreciate her desires (people want to feel UNDERSTOOD) and gently provided the value-based parameters that would allow me to say “YES!”
Reactions based on our stuff comes up not only with parenting but with marriage, colleagues, relatives and friends. The key is recognizing it, gaining tools to deal with it and being willing to go back for a “Take 2”.
Today is the first day of the Jewish month of Sivan. The first day of the new month is called Rosh Chodesh. So this is Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Why is this such a special month? Because this is the month of my FAVORITE holiday….. SHAVUOT! You may be asking “Sha-vu-WHAT???” That was my first impression 22 years ago when I first found out that there was a Jewish holiday called Shavuot. You see, I got married in June and my wedding shower was on Sunday, May 19th, 1991. My friend Debra who was “religious” could not come because it was Shavuot. Oh well. Her loss, right? WRONG! While the bridal shower was really fun, it can never come close to the feeling I get every year in anticipation of Shavuot and the holiday itself.
When we left Egypt at Passover we were slaves. We were at an all-time low, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And just seven weeks later (Shavuot literally means “sevens”) we stood together at Mount Sinai, God gave us the Torah, and we became a People, a Holy Nation! The very thing that defines us as Jews happened on Shavuot!
This year Shavuot begins the night of May 14th and ends the night of May 16th. I am so grateful that this is my 21st year celebrating Shavuot!
No matter if you consider your self Reform, Conservative, Orthodox or unaffiliated, Shavuot is yours for the taking.