Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Netzach b'Chesed

When I think about netzach b'chesed two things come to mind. The phrase "a labor of love" and Cher singing, "Do you believe in love after love after love. I believe there's something inside me saying, I really don't think you're strong enough!" (I know the lyrics are wrong but you see my point at least.) Endurance is something that we need to live our lives. Without it we would crumble under the pressure of life. To love anyone or anything is something that takes a tremendous amount of energy. A musician must practice many long hours to perfect their craft. Writers pour themselves tirelessly in order to have a final draft. A lasting relationship takes time, energy, and trust to stand the test of time. So too does anything we have a passion for in our lives. In Judaism we are taught that we should spend our lives learning, digging deeper into our rich tradition. This of course makes sense because if Judaism truly is to be a passion, a cornerstone of our life then we must continually work to understand it. Endurance in loving-kindness is finding the strength to keep going even when things get rough. Finding strength in those around you is one way to build up your endurance in this manner. Here is my idea of a strategy that you can try to also build your endurance in acts of loving-kindness. Take this 10-day challenge.

Day 1: Smile at a stranger who looks like they need a smile.
Day 2: Say hello to someone who you happen to walk by and smile at a new stranger.
Day 3: Say hello to 3 new people today.
Day 4: Ask someone how they are doing and stay to listen to the answer.
Day 5: Ask someone how they are doing and stay to listen to the answer. Ask a follow-up question.
Day 6: Stop by a co-worker's desk and ask about something meaningful they have at their desk.
Day 7: Give a co-worker a hug and tell them you are happy to see them.
Day 8: Surprise a co-worker or friend with coffee or some little treat.
Day 9: Call a loved one and tell them you love them.
Day 10: Create a small token as a gift for someone and then give it to them.

If you are able to finish this challenge I hope that you feeling great. I hope that you'll feel more capable and empowered to perform these acts of loving-kindness. Endurance in loving-kindness is about finding ways to keep doing acts of loving-kindness. Realizing that you must constantly rejuvenate yourself is how you find endurance. After all, slow and steady wins the race, no?

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