Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Count the Omer: Day 2


Day 2: Gevurah sheb'Chesed, Strength within Loving-kindness
It's hard to imagine two abstract concepts like "strength" and "kindness," let alone how they relate during the Omer. I think of it like this:


The person in the middle represents strength. The heart is loving-kindness. Put them together and you have gevurah sheb'chesed.

I know this photo is awesome, but let's think about today another way. I once had a friend who was mean-spirited to just about everyone. She tore others down in order to build herself up. It's a common tactic - make yourself feel strong by making those around you look weak - but it's a terrible way to maintain a friendship. The people who go through life this way seem to think that there is only a limited amount of happiness in the world and the only way to get it is to take it from others. This way of life will work for them only as long as they are able to keep people around who will put up with their negativity.

It seems to me that gevurah sheb'chesed offers a different, more sustainable, approach to life. If you build your self confidence independently of others, then you can be nice to them without feeling like you are giving up your strength or happiness. When your friends are able to let their guard down without fear of your stinging comments, they will probably be nicer to you in return. This will create a cycle of loving-kindness and strength for all.

More loving-kindness tomorrow!