Inner Will, Fifth Light, Fifth Night

Chanukah fifth_nightA Prayer for Resilience

“Please, God, help me to recognize my strength. May I always remember that no matter how far I have fallen, no matter how bleak my life may seem, no matter how lost I feel, that I can always begin again. Amen.”

Naomi Levy from Talking To God

Today was not a very good day: a canceled job, then picked up one, all in minutes, which caused anxiety and rushing. A long day, with a particular  classroom running amok (had to call the dean in, which was necessary but made me not feel very good about myself). Then coming home to find financial headaches that came out of nowhere. Before I light the candles with Lisa (Skype) and Adam & Alexis (phone), I’m attending a bereavement group function, for those suffering during this Chanukah. Prayers, songs, stories and food. This post will be in two parts: the here and now, where I’m feeling mighty low, and later, after the family ceremony, after talking with Lisa, after reflecting on the day, the service, and my normal prayers.

The work that Rabbi Pam gave me, in looking at Chanukah from a different angle, today talks about  finding the inner will to defy the turmoil, the suffering, to all that challenges my inner will and strength. At this moment, this is a hard one to contemplate facing. My strength is being tested, my caring for myself is being tested, my sense of being is being tested.

I will be seeing a resume/cover letter/job “expert” in the morning, hoping that she will see new paths (sideways, straight on, loop-de-loop) that I just am too bogged down to see right now. I can’t expect miracles in a one hour session, but it’s again a step forward, instead of just  sitting in self pity.

From A Different Light: The Hanukkah Book of Celebration by Noam Zion and Barbara Spectre, this night is also about being persistent, not giving up, not hiding under the blankets and just wishing all the angst and horrible feelings would go away (yes, I want that to happen very much, but I know I have to work at it).

“...Stand(ing) strong against external forces, refusing to to fold to the host of voices that beckon me away from my core.”

End Part One: pre-Bereavement event/lighting of candles at home

Part Two: How I feel Now:

Um…let’s just say that I went, it wasn’t what I was hoping it would be, and just about leave it at that. There was a woman there who lost her husband only weeks ago. The rawness of her despair was evident, and I’d like to think that the little I said to her helped her, in some small way. A mitzvah, I pray, for her, to find her way, especially now when she is seeing what I have: darkness.

The message that was delivered was about light, and why Jews use candles so much. There are more allegories and interpretations one can make about this: for me, I felt that when you light a candle, with prayer, that the flame continues to reach upwards, even while the candle itself dwindles. The nature part reaches towards heaven, the higher plane, while the man made items wither away. Spirit  rises.

I’m really enjoying doing the home service with Lisa, Adam & Alexis. It makes it all so much more worthwhile.


About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on December 13, 2012, in Caring, Family, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Stuart, I feel hat I am experiencing this Chanukah journey with you. Your skill at capturing such raw and real emotions during this time of incredible trial for you is breathtaking. You are speaking universal truths about despair, lonliness, change, and ultimately adaptation, acceptance, and surrender. It is a journey we all make in some way. Thank you for your bravery in sharing this with the world.

    • Molly, like so many others, I wish you were near enough so you could be physically here…I’m glad you’re feeling it through my words. Not much of the world, but enough. Thank you.

  2. A thought from Mordechai Ben Isaac…

    Long is my probation; sore my tribulation—
    Bid, from Heaven,
    Thy shepherds seven
    Haste to my salvation!

  3. Fantastic series Stu – this one was specifically relevant for my family and me right now! Thanks so much for sharing!

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