Israel, like many countries during covid time, has very specific entry restrictions. My ticket was not “stamped”. My entry was not granted.
I cancelled my flight, my Israeli health insurance, my wonderful U.S. dog sitter, my quarantine arrangements at my cousin’s home in Israel, and more. Now I am recalibrating.
I have a non-refundable ticket with no change fee and I will still go for goodness sake! Just not yet.
I am so calm.
The G-d kicker is, in my way of thinking, the results are in G-d’s hands. I didn’t always see it this way. I juggled, struggled, searched and doubted in a knock down drag out tussle with G-d, but now I really am pretty solid. This shifts everything. Being happier in my own skin and less fearful, I am quicker to know that how I treat people along the way is what truly pleases G-d. And if something is meant to be, my effort is required, but I am not called to force it. Bottom line, I dig the hole, plant the seeds, and know that I CAN’T force the flowers to spring forth.
So so lovely.
There is a saying (from Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch). “To fool the world is one thing. To fool yourself is no big deal. You’re a fool for wanting to fool yourself — and anyone can fool a fool.”
Did I just say that?
I’ve always interpreted that to be about the other guy.
Lest I dip into arrogance, I will quickly admit, yup, me too!
In my recent story, I wrote “I bought my plane tickets for Israel today, The fact is I don’t yet have permission to enter the country... Now I am waiting on an answer which could be yes, no or maybe…. I truly feel … that it will work out exactly how it’s supposed to… the rest is up to G-d.”
And that’s where the “ You’re a fool for wanting to fool yourself” part comes in!
As my departure date approached, and the “yes” was not forthcoming, I twisted myself into a pretzel. I forgot the “it will work out exactly how it’s supposed to…” part. I felt impossibly confused and unsettled as I struggled with how to get this elephant through the tiny little mouse hole. I went over and over in excruciating detail in my mind and to my poor sympathetic friends, every possible twist and turn. Sensitive work and time commitments complicated the situation even more, and I obsessed over the nooks and crannies.
And then I realized,
I had kicked G-d out!
Though I didn’t immediately realize, help was on its way. I didn’t want to give this trip back to G-d, but I did. It took another day of struggle, but the clouds cleared and the anxiety waned.
And when I saw… I could and did let it go.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS WAS ABOUT THE EMPTY NEST?
I realized, this whole trip, the urgency of going NOW, was about my grown up 21 year old son. He was in Israel now. Because of course, he is 21 and the nest had recently emptied. His travel plans were emerging and he would be leaving Israel soon. I HAD TO GO WHILE HE WAS THERE!!
When I stopped and could see this (thanks to the help of G-d and good friends), everything cleared up. I suddenly did not have to go NOW!
Not only does it benefit me to let go of my children, it helps them too. What a gift to offer them the peace of mind that their parent is good and okay. AND trusts them to be the capable adults that they are.
So much more can be written on empty nest, but that’s it for now for me. I am excited to see what’s next in life as I let go of holding onto their coattails!
And thank you G-d and to my two sons for giving me (and being) such wonderful children to miss!
I had thought the “empty nest” would be a “physical missing”. Plus, an overriding emotional and practical condition. I never saw it coming that I would react by losing sight of my trust in G-d. Life and emotions are just not “packageable”.
Of course now, I have a little more wisdom. That being that I will play the fool’s part at times. I’ll incorporate this little fool’s humility into living. Honestly, what a relief.
I let go of my children, imperfectly. I trust my Holy “parent” imperfectly. And that’s how it goes.
Even when I “leave” G-d, that home is always there for me to return. As above, below. Our children will grow and make homes of their own. New adventures and purposes will fill our own lives. Still, ALWAYS we are a home for our children. The physical arrangements may come and go, but love, the inner home in our hearts and souls, is eternal. ©