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What Is Life Asking You To Grow?

03/20/2022 10:00:24 AM

Mar20

Luke Colaciello

At a recent Thursday afternoon Mussar class towards the beginning of the first month of Adar, we found ourselves reflecting on where in our lives we feel a sense of scarcity and were then invited to give from that place. I had to think about this. 

In the dance of the Sun and Moon above us, we have passed through the darkness of the longest night and are now nearing the Spring Equinox. I use this period of time as an opportunity to turn inward and wrestle with the inner workings of the spiritual and emotional realms. From this place, I finally picked up and read Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl, who writes as a psychologist about his experiences in the concentration camps during the Holocaust and from which emerged the field of logotherapy. The book had been on my reading list for years, but it’s clear that it was at this moment that I was meant to read it.

Frankl offers us this: “If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.” 

To be a part of this uniquely human experience is to suffer… And we have the uniquely human capacity to choose how we receive meaning from our own suffering.

So there I sat, at the start of Adar, the month in which we are compelled toward joy, and I was feeling a lack of just that! I chose, then, to live up to all that Adar could be: I started sharing Instagram stories of dogs doing goofy things; I made sure that each time I went to improv class that I was having as much fun playing as I possibly could; I even played a love song for Valentine’s Day…

And what joy there is in our community! I can’t wait to be booed and groggered at while playing Haman in our upcoming Purim shpiel (March 16th); I’m thrilled to be working with dedicated volunteers to put on a fundraising evening of comedy here at CBE (May 15th); I’m ecstatic to join the CBE band in playing songs from my favorite band of all time, The Beatles (May 20th); and I can’t wait to fill our Open Sky Amphitheater once again with music, musings, and mensches with events throughout June! 

“What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life… that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life…”

Spring is upon us. Only in the darkness can a seed sprout—to grow joy, friendship, love. What is life asking you to grow right now?

Thu, July 7 2022 8 Tammuz 5782