INSIGHT OUT BY Adina Morris
Everyone deals with change differently. Since entering quarantine, We have been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Kids home from school, working from home with kids home, preparing for Pesach and then Shavuos, reaching out to family and friends, assisting those in need, praying for everyone’s health, safety and livelihood. Through it all, we try to keep sane in different ways. Exercising, talking on the phone, learning a new skill, reengaging with an old skill…. Some have been busy and some have been bored. I feel like most people are on one side of the extreme or the other. Either super over the top busy and stretched to the max or completely bored to tears. It seems that few are going on with smooth sailing.
We have been on the over the top busy and stretched to the max side for about six weeks. Things definitely calmed down after Pesach, but we are still really busy although some of our kids are really bored…. And yet, in the last month or so, I started to get the feeling that I needed to be doing more. I know. Some of you are shaking your heads right now and saying, Enough already! And I agree! I think I am doing enough, but my soul was reaching out, whispering to me that there was something that I was supposed to be doing, and I wasn’t.
But what was it? I went through my list of things that I had accomplished and what I have been working on. It included work, family time, time with my spouse, time with friends, prayer, learning, self improvement and Chessed. I have been and continue to do all of these things. So what was missing? I tried lots of different things. I even took on a new Chessed project! But those weren’t it. My soul kept telling me there was something else. Like I had a mission to accomplish and I wasn’t.
This was starting to get to me and I was at my wits end as to what it could be. So I did a little research. I asked my husband, do you ever get the sense of mission like you need to be doing something? He responded in the negative. I asked my best friends, and they too responded in the negative. So then I went to my father, who accomplished so much in his life, I thought for sure he must have had this feeling at some point. But no, he hadn’t. So now I’m starting to feel a little bit like an alien. I’m just strange. People don’t have a sense of mission. They just do what makes sense and go with it. And honestly, I do that too usually. That is how I opened and ran my own candy store for 10 years and then went back to school for coaching with five small children at home!
But this was different.This is a sense of mission that I am supposed to be completing and I have been ignoring, and now with the Pandemic, it has been ignited and this burning feeling will not go away.
So then I reached out to a friend and colleague who is a director in a major Jewish Organization. She is super accomplished and always running a thousand things at once. At last! A kindred spirit! She too has been driven by a sense of meaning and purpose, or mission if you will! So A, I am not crazy nor am I alone! B, we discussed lots of different things and all of the sudden, Eureka! I hit on it! That thing, the one that I am supposed to be doing!
I know, you are all waiting for the next big organization to be created. Sorry to burst your bubble. I do not want to be head of an organization, not at this point in my life. Our kids are still home and in very much need of my organizational skills and attention. I am not ready to relinquish that role and I don’t know if I ever will be;)
But there was something that I had started working on two years ago. I was inspired by some research (it tends to get me into trouble…) I had done on Megillas Rus that year before Shavuos and reminded me of my research I had done on Megillas Esther for a class I taught about three years prior to that.
The two stories are most difficult to understand. We have two women who gave up their family and potential for happiness for the rest of their lives for others.
When I think about Rus and Esther, and the lives they lived and chose to live, I am in awe. How did they do it? How could they not? But the consequences? Yet the reward and ramifications for the continuity of the Jewish people and the final redemption still yet to come, speedily and in our days!
Esther was guided by Mordechai and she had limited Prophecy capabilities as well. But what about Rus? She had no Mordechai to guide her, she had no prophecy capability. She acted on her own sense of what was right and appropriate.
And that was when I got it into my head, two years ago, to A, do more research and B, it will be on these two women and the choices they made. But as many projects go, as I started to research, it was almost impossible not to draw on other stories in Tanach. And so I expanded my scope and stretched it to research on women in all of Tanach. I worked on it diligently for about 10 months, and then I got busy at work and life took over and it got pushed to the side. I even felt, maybe this isn’t such an important piece of work after all. Maybe this was just an exercise for me. And time went on and it got put on the far back burner.
Until two weeks ago.
Now I am a flame again, and this time with more focus and purpose! And of course, I have expanded the scope once again;)
This work will not only be about the women in Tanach, but also will include a piece on women in leadership and practical application. But even more than that, it will include this newly found piece on mission and purpose. Because as I discovered, many people do not feel a sense of mission and purpose. And yet, we each have a unique purpose and mission to accomplish in this world. It may be at the top of an organization, and it may be a stay at home mother, or somewhere in between. But we need to uncover what it is and align our actions with it in order to achieve our purpose.
At last my soul has quieted a little. It has found what it was looking for. Now I need to get moving. And I do not think it will let me rest until I complete it.
Do you feel a sense of mission? Do you know your purpose? I know everyone told me they don’t. But really they do have one, they just haven’t uncovered it yet. You need to listen to the whispering of your soul. We do not have a prophet to tell us what we are to do, however, we do need to look within ourselves in order to discover what it is. I might be different from other people in feeling a sense of mission, but I know I am not alone in that everyone has a purpose.
Take some time in your busy or boring week ahead and meditate on what your purpose is. Listen to the messages you receive in your life. Pay attention to the whispering of your soul. In what way are you contributing to the continuity of the Jewish people? Big or small, size doesn’t matter. What you do is so important, that without it, we as a people, would not be complete. Listen to the messages of your soul coming to you at strange times. Contemplate.
A little homework for you, especially those who are homeschooling and those who are not!
Drop me a line! I would love to hear from you!
- Do you feel you have a sense of mission?
- If yes, what is it and what are you doing to accomplish it?
- If no, would you like to find out what it is? Maybe I can help!
- Looking at all of the women in Tanach that you have learned about, is there one that you particularly feel a kindred spirit with or feel that her story touches you more than others?
Please share with me your thoughts either by private messaging me or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I look forward to hearing from you! Happy listening!