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The Package Called 'Me'

10/12/2018 11:12:47 AM


Have you ever wanted to press a reset button on your life?

You may be 20, 30, 50 years old, and thought to yourself, "this is not how I imagined my life would turn out."

If you had the chance, would you choose to start over?

Let's take a lesson from the flood in this week's Torah portion.

After nearly 1700 years since creation, G-d was most unimpressed how humanity was evolving. Crime and heresy were rampant.

So, G-d decides to press the reset button. He brings a flood which destroys almost all of humanity. He spares just one family which He trusts can restart the human story on better footing.

But after the flood, G-d makes a promise to never destroy humanity again. No matter what happens, pressing the reset button will never again be an option.

Why? "Because humans are innately flawed." In other words, it would be unreasonable to expect humans to live flawlessly. It was actually G-d who created them this way.

But didn't G-d already know this before the flood too? What changed?

When you experience a failure in your life, there are 2 ways to deal with it: one is to try to erase it off your record; the other is to embrace it as a teachable moment to help guide your future.

The latter option is the healthier one.

We don't live in a time vacuum. We can't compartmentalize our lives into the 'me' who succeeds and the 'me' who fails. At every moment of our lives, we are a product of our entire past, conditioned by all our successes and failures. All our life's experiences join together to create the package called 'me.'

When we're feeling proud about a success we've achieved, realize that it is 'the package called me' who achieved it. Similarly, when we're feeling down over a failure, realize that the same 'me' who sometimes succeeds will fail at times as well.

Early on in our self-development we may be enticed by the option (illusion) to erase our failures. Those are the times we wished we could press reset. But as we mature, we learn to accept them, and ultimately appreciate them. They may just turn out to be our proudest moments.

That seems to be the lesson that G-d learnt from the flood story. We should be so wise as to learn the lesson as well.

Jewish spiritual masters have taught: Who, what and where we are right now, is exactly how it is meant are to be. It is our next decision which will decide who, what and where we'll be tomorrow.

Fri, April 19 2024 11 Nisan 5784