How Jewish Prayer Made Me Rethink My Misfortunes
I prayed the other day. Tears came from nowhere and began rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t stop speaking with relief and desperation. Oh God. Oh God, Oh God-
I needed to pray then. I needed to ask for help, and admit I felt helpless. I needed to admit I was unhappy, that I hurt, that I needed someone to hold me. And in that moment, God reached down let me cry. I didn’t know what I wanted. But I got what I needed.
I was surprised at how much it helped. Just the joy at letting myself burst into tears like a child and release all the sadness, anger and grief. I felt better for it. Really.
I began to run through the meaning of the prayer. God help ME to be strong enough. God give me the wisdom to navigate the dark. God help me be a better student, a better friend and a better person. Help me to listen. Help me to love. Help me to forgive.
None of this was asking him to change my circumstances. None of this asked him to magically right the wrongs of others, or move the rocks in my way. Because ultimately, I navigate my path. I am responsible here. Like a child away from home, I must stumble and fall and find the teachings of my youth to guide me forward.
By the end of the prayer, I resolved to change, to try harder. To do more, be more, forgive more. Learn more, move on more. The anger and resentment was gone.
And so was the sadness.
It starts with a prayer, it continues with me.