My youngest daughter is always asking me to tell her a story.
But no matter how many stories I read during my work for Chabad.org, somehow, at bedtime I can’t remember even one!
It’s a disconnect, a compartmentalization of my work and home time.
I think many of us compartmentalize—and it’s not always to our benefit.
We might be in a situation where we feel frightened, but the adult in us tells us to put on a brave face so our children won’t realize how desperate we really are. Or, we might be feeling extremely frustrated by a turn of events, but we put it aside for later (without even realizing how much we are snapping in the interim!).
But suppose, instead, we share our experiences with those we love.
Suppose we tell our children, “I’m feeling very sad. I’m putting on cheerful music, and I’ll work on thinking more positively.” Or suppose we share with our friends, “I need some time out to ask G‑d to help”—and invite them to join. Or suppose we verbalize to our spouses our progress from frustration to acceptance, and ultimately to a recognition that we actually are so blessed.
When push comes to shove, many of us may feel G‑d’s presence very deeply in our hearts. We may even be able to tap into and access that faith. But how many of us share those deep-down feelings, and spontaneous prayers, openly and regularly, with those around us?
Isn’t the greatest gift that we can give to our loved ones the gift of seeing us coping with real life challenges, while struggling—and hopefully succeeding—in finding that solid core within?
I was recently stranded at an airport in a faraway city, and I experienced my own little everyday “miracle.” The miracle wasn’t the point, but rather, the great learning opportunity that I could now share with my family (and family of readers!).
I could explain to my children that I had been in a situation where I needed G‑d’s help. We could discuss what we do when we feel such desperation. When is it appropriate to pray, and when is it time to accept and let go? And what role do miracles play in our everyday lives?
It was my chance to share my little intimate episode of faith.
And . . . it made a great bedtime story.
P.S.: This week is Rosh Chodesh Adar II, the month in which we celebrate the miracle of Purim and G‑d’s revealed presence in our lives. As we ride through life, let’s turn up the volume of our joy and hold firm to our faith.