It's almost pesach, which means it's almost time to count the omer! I'm probably gonna be doing this shit again: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/276672/jewish/Spiritual-Guide.htm
Omer 1: Chesed of Chesed, lovingkindness within lovingkindness
Amusingly enough, I've been asking myself these questions lately from a polyamory perspective as my number of partners grows, but other kinds of love are maybe more relevant here.
I worry about balancing love-within-love as love for others, with space for loving myself. I used to chase chesed and crave it and approach it with familiarity, but these days I am more tentative. Not sure if it's an improvement.
More omer counting resources
Color-coded per sefirah combination, with blessings/wording for the counting itself: https://opensiddur.org/prayers/lunisolar/pilgrimage/sefirat-haomer/the-order-of-counting-the-omer-in-the-spring/
Another calendar of short contemplations relating to the sefirot for each day: https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/middot-omer-calendar
Omer 2: Gevurah shebeChesed, strength/discipline within lovingkindness
I suppose I should have left some of the balancing-love questions for today, huh? https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/276674/jewish/Omer-2.htm
Since I was young, I remember my parents telling me not to give too much of myself, kid meli running into that wall over and over. I give less of myself now; my personal overextensions of love and effort and burnout don't quite happen as often. I like the daily assignment of helping someone on their terms, not yours.
Omer 2: Gevurah shebeChesed, strength/discipline within lovingkindness
There's a difference between giving too much overall and giving in wrong or unhelpful or self-centered ways, and to me the concept of gevurah shebechesed seems like it's about avoiding the latter, not the former. Not rationing love, but targeting it.
I am very much not a master of this but I at least feel like I understand it.
Omer 3: Tiferet Shebechesed
Tiferet is far and away the most confusing of these attributes. It's where harmony and truth and beauty all meet together. So, tiferet within lovingkindness: recognizing beauty and balance in lovingkindness, in expressing and spreading chesed in daily life. Recognizing that "deserving" love is not the point, but instead balancing our capacity to give in ways that are harmonious with others' needs. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/276675/jewish/Omer-3.htm
Omer 4: Netzach Shebechesed
Endurance/eternity within lovingkindness: even when it's hard, we do the thing. Love is difficult to maintain over long periods of time, but important. I am not always good at this, in the ways that also reflect back to balance--i think of myself as loving intensely and burning out on it, rather than building stable enduring slower fires. Not that I always X out when it's hard, but enduring doesn't feel like the right word. Something to work on.
Omer 4: Netzach Shebechesed (2)
I have a harder time extending chesed to myself than to others, and netzach shebechesed is no exception. Trying to be kind to myself and not spiral into bad thoughts around chronic illness flares and the like is challenging. I went for a walk and overdid it just enough that I’m spending a lot of time resting after, and trying to approach this from a more loving place than my usual frustrated stubbornness. I’m stuck in this body. Might as well be nice about it.
Omer 5: Hod Shebechesed (submission/splendor/sincerity within lovingkindness)
Hod shebechesed feels reminiscent of the degrees of giving tzedakah, where the more good you do for another person and the less of your ego/their shame you involve the better a deed you've done.
There's a particular kind of self-centeredness that happens with depressed folks, myself included, and I think I could work on lessening that if i paid more attention to the humility aspect of love.
Omer 6: Yesod Shebechesed (connection within lovingkindness)
When I think yesod shebechesed, i think of disability justice and access intimacy. https://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/access-intimacy-the-missing-link/
Access intimacy takes work. It is hard. I have glimpsed it in partnerships much more than in communities, because there's fewer variables and needs.
But disability justice and all its constitutive concepts are powerful, and I am driven by lovingkindness to build connections so we can together have intimacy and community.
Omer 7: Malchut Shebechesed (kingliness within lovingkindness) also mh~-
I counted the omer on time last night, but couldn't think of anything to say here. I was having a bad depression day, so it was difficult to try to channel anything resembling kingliness/Gdliness within lovingkindness, especially through the personal dignity frame used in that link. Spiritual growth is hard for anyone, but maybe especially for those of us with slightly broken brain chemistry.
Omer 8: Chesed shebeGevurah (lovingkindness within strength/discipline)
Give love a focus through respect, awe, and discipline. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/276679/jewish/Omer-8.htm
“Chesed of gevurah is the love in discipline; awareness of the intrinsic love that feeds discipline and judgment. [...] It is the understanding that we have no right to judge others; we have a right only to love them and that includes wanting them to be their best.”
Omer 10: Tiferet shebeGevurah
Tiferet (beauty/miracles/integration) balances gevurah and chesed on the tree of life.
I am still counting with the bracha at night, but also still having a worse than usual depression slump so I don't have much to say. Balancing my discipline and self-critic is still a practice that needs work. Last year I had difficulty understanding tiferet. This year I get it well enough, I just have trouble applying any of Gevurah's lessons.
omer count update (w/meds-ish and health- mentions)
Depression stuff is happening, and I've been fighting a cold, so a lot of my routines are a little out of it. I sat up in bed last night realizing that I forgot to 1) take my melatonin 2) count the omer before fixing both problems.
I'm still counting the omer with the bracha, though. Gonna just start the thread from tonight and, in the future, let myself skip days (of this, not counting) without feeling bad.
Omer 15: Chesed shebeTiferet
Week 3! I love tiferet. I didn't understand it last year, and really still don't; it's translated as a lot of things, compassion and balance and beauty and miracles, so I try to hold those concepts together in my head and look for the overlap. But, like the rest of kabbalah, I'm drawn to it anyway. Sigh.
The love aspect of beauty-miracle-compassion-balance is easy for me to grok. The gevurah aspect will likely be harder. Check back tomorrow.
Omer 16: Gevurah shebeTiferet
WHEW, this one had some difficult questions in it. "compassion is not an expression of the bestower's needs but a response to the recipient's needs. [...] Is the compassion coming from guilt? [...] Is my compassion impulsive and careless? Do I assess the measure of compassion necessary for a given situation? Is it commensurate with the recipient's needs?"
A large part of my compassion is selfish. Sometimes that's ok, but it's not ideal.
masto.jews.international is a pluralistic, pro-Diaspora Mastodon instance for Jews to conspire, socialize, and debate together.