Lean in. Deep breaths.

“Forces Beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond.”

-Viktor Frankl

One of the most healing aspects of a therapeutic process is the acknowledgment of endings and termination. Identifying the ending points within a process, or the completion of the process itself, acts as a critical signal light for our spirit of our progress and growth. Without these affirmations, when nothing short of perfection is enough, the process feels like it’s forever. As we plod on, all we feel is dissatisfaction and deficiency. The alternative, maybe the only choice we really have, is to find ways of honoring our incremental growth while maintaining our motivation to continue on.

It feels as though that is a point we are at right now. Two weeks ago+ the universe went into crisis mode. Survival dominated our minds. Every fiber of our being told us we could either Lean In or retreat into oblivion.

On a personal, familial, communal, national and even global level, we have rallied against the forces of an invisible enemy. We have had to adjust our way of doing things, we have engaged supports, and we have remembered to laugh.

Now, it seems as though the dust is starting to settle. The crisis has not ended and we can’t afford to take our focus off the prize, yet we also need to draw awareness to a shift that has occurred, and the beginnings of the turning of a corner. They tell us suffering, beyond even what we have encountered so far, is on the horizon so the seriousness of the situation has only begun. But, something has changed and we must acknowledge it. We must honor it, or-else we will succumb to the terror of “never enough”.

We have adjusted, we have adapted, we are fighting the fight.

So, just for today as we close out March Madness; the lean in phase of reactionary panic, and begin to experience the suffering of the long battle ahead, it’s critical that we take a deep breath. The kind of deep breath that allows us to humbly and gratefully acknowledge the progress made, and to steady ourselves for the journey to come.

About the Author
Menachem Poznanski, LCSW is director of The Living Room, a clubhouse for Jewish young adults in recovery from Alcoholism and Addiction. Menachem is co-author of Stepping out of the Abyss: A Jewish guide to the 12 steps (Mosaica, 2017) and the editor of both Consciously and The Light Revealed, two social media initiatives focused on the messages of Jewish recovery and spirituality. Menachem resides in Cedarhurst, NY with his wife Naomi and their children, Zoe and Tani.
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