|A series brought to you by Secrets My Grandmother Told Me: A Wisdom School|
And so the countdown began on the second day of Pesach, counting 49 days, a journey of seven full weeks…
Malchut/Shechina – The Created World, Manifestation, Indwelling Presence in Sovereignty
by Rabbi Nadya Gross
And so we come to the close of our counting – at the end of this week, we will have completed seven cycles of seven and followed the pathways of creation, carrying the divine attributes on the Tree of Life into the manifest world.
In Yesod, we found the complete and perfect blueprint: the divine intention at the inception of the creative process is fully conceived and ready to emerge in its final manifestation.
However, the world we inhabit is nowhere near the perfect image that first arose in the ‘mind of the Creator’. As Creation unfolds, from the perfect Unity that existed before, an essential design flaw occurs. We don’t know why or how, but we do experience that in our daily lives – we imagine something and when we try to create that thing, it never quite manifests as perfectly as we imagined. In the imagination there is perfection, which cannot be perfectly executed. This is hardwired into Creation, this essential design flaw.
And, yet, God – the Creator – lovingly breathes life into the world. Remember that the flow of energy begins with Chesed – loving-kindness. Thus, the energy that fills and fuels this realm is love. Creation, however flawed, is filled with unconditional love. What an amazing thing – to know that we are loved and we don’t have to do anything to earn it. To realize that we are flawed, by design, and still worthy of the greatest love.
I am a recovering perfectionist. Every day I have to remind myself that perfection is not part of the design plan. Sometimes that awareness is soothing; often it drives me mad. I feel certain that if I only try harder, work longer, practice more, then I can produce a perfect product … from a perfect ‘me’. How many of you identify? And whose voice is that in your head? I hear so many voices: parents, teachers, employers, marketing slogans, and on and on. I’ve internalized these voices until they feel like me, only they’re not.
Malchut/Shechina invites us to dwell in our own divinity, to stand in our full majestic truth. We are a part of Creation, and therefore we too are breathed by God – the life-force that flows through us is love. The central rule in Torah is: “you shall love the other as yourself,” [Lev 19:18]. We can only express and give love to another as well as we love ourselves. Anything else is false – it’s pretend (or pretentious) love. When I listen to my true voice, the divinely inspired sense within, I know those other voices are not mine and not helpful. I can let go of the perfect plan that holds me back, join my efforts with all the other good enough efforts around me, and simply enjoy the process of creating. I can learn from my mistakes without shame or blame. I can celebrate my growth. I can be perfectly human.
And, so can you!
In this week of Malchut/Shechina
- Make a list of ten things you love about yourself each morning- and carry it around with you throughout the day as an act of enough-ness
- Breathe with a tree – and feel how interconnected you are with all of Creation
- In the intentional space you created last week – or your altar – decorate with things you’ve made, and appreciate yourself and your efforts
Thank you for joining Ruach D’vorah and myself in this journey through the Omer. We hope you found inspiration for your own journey of realignment and fixing, and that you know you are bringing your best, imperfect self to stand together once again at Sinai.