Mornings, Bearer of Light

Dawn“The soul that You have given me, O God, is a pure one! You have created and formed it, breathed it into me and within me You sustain it. So long as I have breath, therefore, I will give thanks to You, O Eternal my God and God of all ages, Ruler over all creation, God of every human spirit. Blessed is Adonai, in whose hands are the souls of all the living and the spirits of all flesh. Amen.” ~from Gates of Healing, a message of comfort and hope
“There are so many things I take for granted. May I not ignore them today.
Just for today, help me, God, to remember that my life is a gift, that my health is a blessing, that this new day is filled with awesome potential, that I have the capacity to bring something wholly new and unique and good into this world.
Just for today, help me, God, to remember to be kind and patient to the people who love me, and to those who work with me too. Teach me to see all the beauty that I so often ignore, and to listen to the silent longing of my own soul.
Just for today, help me, God, to remember You.
Let this be a good day, God, full of joy and love. Amen.”
~from Talking to God by Naomi Levy (c)

My mornings are uneven. The above prayers are now part of my routine, saying them out loud, a way to try and focus myself on facing the day, and days ahead that are uncertain. A goal I’ve been given is to really focus on what I’m doing, to give myself enough time to not just say the words but to let them flow properly. Otherwise, it would just be senseless and hold little to no meaning. Lip service, not trying to find the proper connection. That is not what I want to do, or have happen.

The two prayers above are morning prayers. There are others I say, but these two are specific to the coming day. Writing the prayers, so you have an idea of where I go, is a sharing, and I hope for some of you, a tool for you to use as well. The first one was difficult for me to say when I started with the Rabbi. It was hard to take fully in. It has gotten easier, and been entrenched on a deeper level, as time has gone on. The second one was easier from the beginning, and one I could relate to since it is what I want: every day, as best as possible, for it to be a good day, full of joy and love. Taking in that my soul is a pure one…I’m still finding my way through that.

The Rabbi loaned me a new book to read: Healing from Despair, by Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz. Yes, I’ve felt and feel despair, and it is one of the main things I am trying to fight. The back cover blurb was interesting: it asked some questions about if this book was for you:

Are you:

  • Feeling anxious?
  • Feeling depressed because of the loss of health, a relationship or a job?
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one?
  • Feeling hopeless?

I just started reading it, and found I need to read this in a quieter space than a school lounge. Rabbi Spitz has written an account of his own descent into despair and his climb out of it. Besides his own story, and adding tales from the Torah/Biblical recounting, he has added tools at the end of each chapter, writing, meditations and more. I will be working on a number of these tools, and share them as I see fit: some things are just too much and should remain private.

He came out of the darkness, I plan to as well. It’s a scary road right now.

Below is a prayer from the introduction, one he says with his congregation on Shabbat mornings at the end of service, words to God:

“Rebono shel ha’olam, source of compassion and mystery, may it be Your will that out of the darkness of despair we kindle hope and healing that enable us to recognize that we are bearers of light, vessels of Your presence. Amen.”
~ from Healing from Despair by Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz

today would have been my Dad’s 88th birthday.

he left us in 1999.

Happy Birthday, Dad.



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 January 2, 2013, in Caring, Counsling, Despair, Family, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Loneliness, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Spiritual, Support, Therapy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Love the two prayers, Stuart. Thanks for sharing them with us.
    May the dawn bring the light of hope and living to you- within you- and about you.

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