Towards the end of October I was invited to a friend’s wedding on December 1st. After a couple of weeks I said it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make it. However, as the wedding day approached sooner and sooner I felt this strong sense, like a gravitational pull that I ought to go. The more I pushed the thought of attending away, the stronger the sense would feel until I finally changed my thinking from “I can’t go” to “how can I make this happen?” This was a powerful shift because when I realized that my response that I can’t attend came without first considering how I can go. I began to look at possibility. After all, if there’s one thing Chanukah is here to remind us, it’s that miracles - beyond the daily miracles - do happen and we need not first “see them to believe them.” Rather, we can first believe them which will lead us to see them.
The delay I made in listening to myself took me up to the day before the ceremony when I finally “had enough” of the mental noise and heavy feeling that I decided purchase a ticket despite not knowing where I’d stay, how I’d get there, and many other logistics necessary for a non-hectic, impromptu trip. It was a very pleasant, albeit a slightly worrisome, reminder of creating an intention, playing with how it pans out, and living as if the intention is already done/already happened. Despite having several experiences that are similar to this one, including another wedding I went to last March, it can still feel like a challenge to jump into the unknown, not knowing what will happen but trusting that things will unfold better than I can imagine.
With the help of G-d, to my pleasant surprise, Tuesday night as my family and I were eating dinner by the Chanukah lights, I checked my phone and saw a message that led me to ask one of my Rabbis if he’s going to the wedding. He said yes! In short, I ended up riding with him and his wife to their family members, which was within walking distance to a friend of mine who opened up his home for me to stay the night. Additionally, my friend actually had an invitation to the wedding and came to celebrate towards the end. This meant all of my travels and accommodations were taken care of in a way better than I expected!
The Chassidic wedding was beautiful and, like the other traditional Jewish weddings I’ve attended, brought out in me appreciation and awe of the meaning and mysticism within and throughout this essential celebration. I felt so inspired and excited for my own wedding, may it be at a auspicious date and time.
This experience, very aligned with what Chanukah is here for, reminded me to listen to myself, not in an egotistical I-must-have-it-my-way type of attitude, but in a simple way where one can hear the still, soft voice from within. Only for the next experience that calls me to it, that I listen to and act on it much sooner than last minute ;-)
I hope you designate some time this weekend for yourself as well, to really listen to your inner voice and then celebrate what you’re doing well.
You are only scared because you can measure what you’ll lose, but you can’t see what you’ll gain. - Kyle Cease