This past week’s Mussar practice was to work on developing the Middah of Trust. For those who use Every Day, Holy Day: 365 Days of Teachings and Practices from the Jewish Tradition of Mussar as their daily text, our phrase this past week has been “I rest in the hands of my Maker,” and our practice has been “When you feel worried, recite the phrase, ‘My life is in the hands of the One who made me.”
This is one of the harder Middot on my soul curriculum to work on, because it challenges me to give up control, to not be the leader, to not be the one in charge. However, by leaning into this Middah specifically, what I allow myself to do is to be present, to be mindful, to remove burdens and stressors from my shoulders and my life, and to rely on my community, my colleagues, my family, and my friends instead of believing that I have to be a superhuman who does everything on his own.
It means trusting that things are going to work out okay, so long as I do what I’m supposed to. It means not wasting time worrying about whether so-and-so got my email, and whether they’re going to do what they need to do once they receive it…because I have trust that My life is in the hands of the One who made me, and things will work out as they should, in their time and order.
By working on developing my Middah of Trust, I free myself to work on things that are much more important than the smaller minutiae that so often take up our time during the week.
And, with much thanks to the Eternal Mystery, this past week things worked out exactly as they should have! Everyone was professional as they always are, almost everything that needed to get done did, and the world moved forward and continued to turn on its axis.
The only difference between this week, and weeks when I can’t practice this specific Middah, is that when I can practice this incredibly critical Middah, I feel better, I think more clearly, and my life is far more full, far more rich, because I can be more mindful, and more present, and I can enjoy every flavor, scent, sound, and experience that the day has in store for me.
This coming week we are practicing the Middah of Faith. So our phrase for this week is “Cleave to the One and be whole” and our practice shall be to say the phrase “God willing” before undertaking any action, large or small.
So tomorrow, I will be starting my first day at my new job as a Mental Health Counselor (God willing), and I look forward to continuing to practice the Middah of Trust this week, as well (God willing)!