My husband is talented at so many things, and might I add really excels in the more important things, but skiing is not one of them! Anything that requires balancing on uneven ground is just not one of his strengths, but being the trooper he is, that didn’t stop him when we were learning to ski on a family trip a few months back.
Aside from me, no one in my family had ever skied before. We all signed up for a lesson, and as it turned out, we were all at such different levels that we needed to branch off with different instructors. Michael got stuck with Adolf (yes, that’s right) whose personality quite accurately fit his name, if I do say so myself. Adolf had been a ski instructor since 1955. Some might see his age as a handicap – very old-school in his methodology, not quite as quick on his feet as he probably once was, but what this meant for that one afternoon in Michael’s world was that Adolf knows better than anyone else, because he had been teaching since before Michael was born.
Michael diligently and patiently climbed sideways up the kiddy slope, steadied himself for the briefest moment as he reached the top, and just as he would embark on the way down, he would fall each and every time. Up he’d go, and down he’d come, all arms and legs, snow everywhere. My daughter Miriam and I were hunched over in hysterics watching Michael wobble and tumble down the kiddy slope over and over, but he’d get right back up and do it again. Oh, we worked our stomach muscles just as well as we did our legs that day!
Poor Michael! Two sweat-filled hours later I finally pulled Adolf over for a little talk (Michael is much more patient than I) even though I wasn’t the one being led to God knows where by him. I finally asked Michael if he minded all the falling, and he said, “as long as the falling didn’t hurt, the falling was part of the learning.” We both questioned whether or not he was actually getting any kind of teaching at all that afternoon. God bless this man!
One of the great gifts of this month is the ability to fall and rise again, because we cannot complete our work, we cannot elevate to the highest levels without first going down and then going up. Rav Ashlag teaches that we cannot rise without falling first. Falling is not a negative thing if we eventually become elevated. Falling has within it the seed of rising up, and in this month we have the ability to descend through the process and elevate at the end – fall and then rise again. But in order to rise to new heights we need to start from the ground up. There’s no going up without first going down.
This month’s challenge for all of us is that all of our blessings, great and small, will come disguised as quite the opposite. Each blessing will be presented as a challenge, as something we do not like, or perhaps as something that we do not even want. The secret is: that is this month’s deception. Nothing is at it appears to be, and as long as we understand this, and focus our awareness we can receive the blessings that are concealed in the challenges.
If you are faced with a challenging situation, or a difficult encounter with a person, remember that it is not as it appears. We cannot rise to the highest levels or reach the highest connections to the Light, unless we fall. Every time we fall, every time something doesn’t go our way, or every time something we were hoping for doesn’t happen, it’s not enough to just say, “I know that something good will happen at the end.” We have to actually take joy in the falling. Having an understanding that there is a reason why we are lower than we were before, and that the reason is because there is Light to reveal here.
No matter how challenging the situation, have certainty that the end-result is not to hurt you – far from it – it’s in your best interest. This is something to keep in mind, especially when it doesn’t feel like it. As long as we don’t let appearances fool us, we can draw all the power, potential and blessings from this month, and stay connected to the Light.
There is no shame in falling. In fact, that is what helps us earn what is to come. This month is not a time to shy away from difficulty, but rather leap at the opportunity, knowing we can transform each time we fall. If we can stay connected to this consciousness, and understand there is a reason why we are lower than we were before, then we can actually take joy in the falling, because we KNOW there is great Light to reveal in those moments.
In falling we may experience discomfort, doubt, anxiety and anger, which for the most part are the natural reactions to challenging circumstances. But it’s in these moments we must remember that “a truly spiritual person is able, even after falling to the greatest depths, to rise immediately and know that they can do great things.” – Michael Berg
Should you fall, smile and get right back up, because that’s how we reveal more Light in our lives and in the world.
THOUGHT TO ACTION:
Remember the blessings in disguise this month. If you fall, replace feelings of anxiety with happiness. Tell yourself “there is Light to reveal” and share your experience in the comment section.