Saturday, December 26, 2009

Victim or Fate? The Joseph story

There are two personal themes that have gone on with me since the NF - one is the feeling of being a victim [of someone's mistakes], and the other is being a long-term patient. It is clear to me that working my way out of these two themes will be my foothold to climbing higher in my faith.

Today while listening to Robert teaching the children about the weekly Torah portion, I realized I felt like Yosef (Joseph)- the part when he reunited with his brothers for the first time since they threw him in the pit and sold him. (I am talking about the book of Genesis, chapter 44:18- 47:27, or in Hebrew- parashat Vayigash).

What happens in the scripture is this: Yosef reveals his identity to his brothers. He tells them that he is Yosef, their brother, whom they sold to Egypt. He goes on to tell them not to be distressed, and not to feel bad about themselves, because it was Gd who sent him to Egypt, before them [the brothers], so that he could save them during the famine years (chapter 45:4 - 8). Yosef wants to point out that there was a clear purpose and agenda in place when the brother's acted on their impulse to kill/sell Yosef. The agenda being that he [Yosef] was destined to be the commander-in-chief to Pharoh in order to save the Jewish people (the family of Jacob, the 12 tribes).

However, Yosef only told the brothers of his identity *after* they proved to him that they have corrected their ways. They proved to him that they no longer want to take revenge on the sons of Rachel. They defended Benyamin for their father's sake (44:30 - 34), thus showing Yosef that they have done "t'shuva"; righted their wrongs.

OK, I'll string this together now...
I, too feel that I suffered the past 2 1/2 years for a higher purpose. I am a better "Tzelem Elokim" (image of Gd), a better mother. I also used to be a person with rage just under the surface. It's true, just ask those who love me. Now my rage is *gone*. It followed me throughout my whole life, and it took near-death... and a few more years... to finally rise above it.

I am trying to get my heart to total faith, like what Yosef displayed. That is the only way to move out of the victim mind-frame. Releasing myself from being a victim is the way to my own spiritual totality. I know in my heart that this is all for a higher purpose... I *know* that, I preach it, I live it. But yet the victim mentality still sometimes seeps into my consciousness and pulls me back into that space of less than total faith. That is the space that houses anger at the surgeon, putting myself back into the victim category.

We have the Torah so we can learn the lessons and live them. Yosef got to completely rid himself of any trace of anger toward his brothers, and alter his feelings of being a victim. But it took him 22 years. I have the advantage of learning from the Torah, and trying to live it. That should cut down that 22 year lesson... I'm so close...

(As far as the "long-term patient" phase I mentioned at the beginning of this post... I hope to work on easing my way out of that after my MRI on the 31st.)

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