Today’s topic is resilience.
I think it fits with the day’s quality. Gevurah means Judgment. Malchut is another name for Shechinah, the Divine Mother. So, Gevurah she’b’malchut means: Judgment in the mother.
I’m thinking today of judgments I made as a mother. Good judgments, actually.
One of my young children, for example, was not very focused. So, I made sure to give them only one instruction at a time. For years!
Yes, eventually they grew up. And now they excel at complex strategy games and programming projects.
Another of my young children was rather impulsive. Spoke their mind and did what they wanted to do. But I made a decision never to embarrass them. So, when they were rude or inappropriate, I whispered my instructions into their ear. And they always responded well.
Eventually this child grew up too. Now they have immaculate manners. And a gracious way of speaking and writing.
Really, I don’t know how I made these good judgments. The only Mom school I went to was the school of “being RBD’s daughter.” And she was, let’s be honest, a jagged combination of wise and falling apart. Somehow I absorbed the wisdom and left most of the pain behind.
Somehow I was lucky.
Lately, I’ve been reading about trauma. Different kinds, including childhood trauma, intergenerational trauma, spiritual abuse, and moral injury. Each has its own definition. But here is one factor shared by all the sources. In a traumatic experience, your internal resources can’t cope with external stressors.
Somehow I had the internal resources to cope. A lucky combination of intellect and temperament. As a child, I did not understand how it works. But as a young mother, I had a half-conscious understanding. A child’s nervous system is easily overwhelmed. So, I’ll try not to overwhelm the two children entrusted to me.
Not every child has the resilience I had. Some grow up and only then work painstakingly to learn to love, see others clearly, and handle their own emotions.
I like to imagine that my own resilience was a gift from Shechinah, the Divine Mother. I imagine that she steps in when real mothers and their children struggle. But I also know that is not really true. So, I pray that it will be.
May Shechinah, the archetype of maternal wisdom, show up when we need her. May she guide and comfort. And help us create a perfected world.
Today is Day 44 of the Omer, i.e., six weeks and two days.
New to counting the Omer? Here’s a primer.
Image by artist Kostadin Tanusev