About a year ago, during Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, I wrote a post called “Steps to Healing.” I wanted a way to reach forgiveness after being hurt by someone and I needed a path that started with validation. The path featured 5 steps:
- Acknowledge and validate the pain- feel it and react. Cry and rage if you need to. Just don’t take it out on anyone.
- Daven that the person who hurt you should get a very bad attack of conscience.
- Do something productive that you enjoy.
- Do something un-productive but harmless that you enjoy.
- Allow yourself to start healing.
This path is healthy and doable and I’ve found the results to be great. But I’ve since learned about one more step: thanking Hashem for the incident.
I’ve been seeing a number of posts about this on my social media feed and that was my initial reaction. Intellectually, it’s correct. It’s all about Emunah (faith) and Bitachon (trust) in Hashem. He doesn’t send us anything that isn’t for our ultimate benefit. But emotionally, that initial reaction is there. It’s HARD to feel thankful when anything bad happens and it’s easier to feel angry at the person who hurt me.
But as readers of my style blog know, I love a good creative challenge and I found ways to be creative with this one.
First, I thought of step 2- davening that the person who hurt me should have an attack of conscience. If Hashem answers with “yes,” then that person will get that attack of conscience and will try to make amends. In that case, thank you Hashem for allowing this person to be a mentsch.
But what if Hashem’s answer is “no” and the person doesn’t get any attack of conscience? In that case, thank you Hashem for allowing me to see this person’s true colors.
Then, I remembered that for me, a part of step 5- allow myself to heal- is to remember the truly good people in my life. I can’t be best friends with everyone for two reasons. First, because I’m only human and no human being is capable of that, and second, because some personalities just don’t mesh that way. But thank you Hashem for the truly good people out there whom I CAN like and respect whether we’re good friends or not. And thank you Hashem for the real friends who can disagree respectfully and who choose to stay connected.
In that same vein, I’m reminded to reach out to my friends and remind them that I’m here for them. So thank you Hashem for reminding me to do that.
Finally, I remember that both this post and last year’s post were inspired by incidents in which I got hurt. So thank you Hashem for giving me that inspiration, especially if these posts did some good.
Thank you Hashem indeed.
May He grant us a year of forgiveness and unity among all Klal Yisrael.