Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Courage to make your life a blessing
Eli, the day you were born, almost 13 years ago, I became a mother. The challenges and joys of loving you the best I can have shaped me in important ways. I think I might finally be an adult!
But it took me a long time to feel truly grown. I think you have more time too.
Maybe becoming fully formed is a process. And in approaching challenges with curiosity and open heartedness you create yourself, and your life.
You’ve had a great start with that this year, with your 5 Bar Mitzvah challenges.
I’ve seen you do hard things. And I think you’ve found value in that. Remember the value of doing what is worthwhile even when it is hard.
Take the confidence you gained in riding your bike 200 miles, and try something new, even if you might fail.
Failure is not the worst thing. It can be a teacher and a motivator. Failure can be embarrassing, but also funny. Some of my best stories come from recounting epic failures. We survive them. Often they make us better.
Eli, you have a strong spirit of adventure.
I hope that will lead you new places. And may it lead you to experience life deeply, with enthusiasm, and delight. A sense of adventure might take you inside a beehive, or to a bat caveThailand, or to live in a round cabin with your family in the woods.
Both sets of your grandparents--sea gypsies and world travelers-- embody the spirit of adventure. They embrace life fully. Ask them to invite you along
Eli, you are brave and strong. You ski down ravines and cracks that would make me cry. And you do it fast. You confront your fears and do not allow them to paralyze you in pursuing what you love. I encourage you to use that courage to also be yourself, to risk looking foolish sometimes. To act silly. To wear purple.
Use that courage to hold your true friends close to you.
And to make the right choices, even if they aren’t ‘cool.’
It can take a lot of courage to resist the way of the pack.
But Eli, you can, when you should, because you are brave.
Eli, you have a good brain, and wonderful ideas.
Albert Einstein, who also had a good brain, said this: “There are only 2 ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Your worldview can be positive. Positive outlook can be a choice, a personal philosophy. I bet Einstein also laughed in his sleep. I love that you do that.
Perhaps you will involve yourself in making the world better. I have seen you do good work in your community this year with the hungry and unsheltered, and for the animals. I hope you will continue finding the courage to make your life a blessing.
I realize that I do a lot of telling and instructing, and I have done that here too. I know that can be a drag. I won’t promise to stop. You still have some growing to do, and I hope to be involved for a long time.
But want to tell you this Eli. I am proud of you. I believe you’ll do well. I’m not worried.
To use a little garden analogy, your roots are in great shape, and the new growth is looking lush and healthy.
I think you are smart now, and that you will become wise.
I believe you’ll have adventures, and do good and hard things, and love the people around you well. I believe when you fail, you’ll learn something from it, and keep going.
Eli, your Bar Mitzvah is almost done. That will be a relief I’m sure.
But take this opportunity to look around.
Remember this moment.
Remember these people, who are your people, who love you and want all that is good and sweet for you.
When you fail,
when something devastating happens, when you are broken hearted,
this memory will sustain you.
We will be there then.
And we will be here in your joys as well.