If you hear something said over and over again, like literally from 4 different speakers giving different kind of speeches in the last week, is that G-d's way of telling you that you are so incredibly dumb that you need an individual wake up phone call?
"Yes, this is she."
"Hi. This is G-d. This is what you need to do."
"Oh, thanks, okay, let me just--"
"No, really, this is what you need to do. Now don't mess it up. Okay?"
"Oh, you mean I should like listen and then do what I want anyway?"
"No. I mean this is what you should do. Now. Got it?"
"I think so. Um. I just have a couple of--"
"LISTEN. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. AND I BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WORLD. I CAN--"
"Oh, I totally got it, G-d. First thing tomorrow morning, 'k? Thanks for calling. Bye."
Um. Hello? I guess I am that dumb.
Or I could not rip myself apart (which I totally forget is an option sometimes) and I could take it at face value.
There are so many things that I need to work on, but I believe that all of a person's stuff stems from the same root. There is one basic root cause for all negative behaviors. So hacking off the branches is a lot of hard work for not enough return. Sicken the roots, and the whole tree will die.
At least, that is how I always operated. In other words, all--or none. Be perfect--or why bother trying? And since no one is perfect, there were lots of things about myself that I was just putting band-aids on top of, and a pretty smile, and pretending that all that junk wasn't there. Like covering a mess in the corner with a white tablecloth before shabbas. Pruning the tree and pretending that I want to keep it, after all. Doesn't it look nice?
Yesterday, Princess came up with a startling idea. She started off hesitantly, but then built up confidence and explained herself like an adult.
"This water bottle," she said, warming to her subject, pointing at a half-finished meh-eden (really filled with tap water, but don't tell) "can't really be here, because Hashem is really here. So it can't be here. Because Hashem is everywhere. Is He hiding? To make room for the water? Because if He wasn't hiding, then there wouldn't be any water. So He's hiding. But really, He's here. Really, He's water." She looked at Outdoorsman hesitantly. Overcome, Outdoorsman kissed her on the forehead and then leaned back and stared at her, openmouthed.
And from the mouth of babes, I knew. My big strong tree that I could not weaken that was full of the fruit of my anger, my jealousy, my laziness, my vanity was not really this big evil entity that I ignored because the size of it was just too big, because the spread of its branches and its black shadow was easier to ignore than to kill.
It's all Hashem. The tree is only in my mind, only there because I let Him hide from me. If I can see Him, then I can't see the tree. If I can see Him; the tree is not really there.
I have so much to work on. Let me start by opening my eyes and seeing what's really there.
G-d, I got the message.