Moshe and Malkie Hirsch

 

I have analogies for everything. I especially love using the power and imagery of metaphors to convey my feelings and perspectives.

Once, when I was trying to describe getting used to this new life of mine to someone, a vision of yoga suddenly popped into my mind. I’m no yogi; I never did get certification in this ancient practice of meditation, stretching, posing, and mindful breathing. But I once attended a class, and the teacher was talking about how sometimes you’ll attempt a pose that’s uncomfortable, so unfamiliar in the way it’s twisting your body. Though you’re supposed to contort your body into that pose for a few counts, your mind and body might fight it.

Yet, even with the resistance — in fact, often because of the resistance — there’s actually meaning behind that pose. It can represent that in life there are times that are so unfamiliar and uncomfortable that we’re going to fight the change.

Someone once told me: “Most people will choose a familiar problem over an unfamiliar solution every time. We are so scared of change.”

What if instead of collapsing under the awkwardness of our own weight re-shifted, we chose to lean into the discomfort, to hold that pose? Stay with it a moment. Take a deep breath, blow it out, and listen, so it can teach you something.

Something about our lives, something about how our bodies are stronger than we thought, and our souls even more so. By honoring that strength, resisting the urge to fold, we tap that strength and build more. And then more.

We’re getting back to basics. We’ve been living in times of unprecedented abundance, affluence, and waste. Now we are tasting frugality, even scarcity.

Housewares are being rationed because of the limited items available online and because of the lines in every store, more resulting from panic on the consumers’ part about running out of toilet paper, groceries, and other essentials than an actual shortage.

It’s nothing like we’ve ever lived through before, and for many that can induce anxiety and fear. But there is one feeling that will help us most through a time like this: hope.

Hope that things will improve.

Hope that the sick will recover and grow stronger each day.

Hope that we can learn something from this and not just go back to the way we were before.

That there’s a hidden message for everything in life and this coronavirus is no exception.

G-d hit the brakes on our frenzied lifestyle, forced us to stop and look around and turn inward. Maybe it’s a chance to appreciate the things in life we thought were a given, but now realize are the most important things. To focus less on the latest fashion or the fanciest wedding or the most luxurious Pesach program. COVID-19 may be a global megaphone, proclaiming that we’re all human brothers and sisters, all equal regardless of our differences. Regardless of what external trappings we get to fleetingly enjoy, how little that matters. How insignificant differences are in the grand scheme of things.

It’s being with our kids. Stripped of big institutional distractions — shuls, schools, and simchas. No need to put on those heels. Shop for food and go straight home to be with family because ain’t nothin’ else open. Having time to think, read, and share with your loved ones. Look around to others in need.

G-d has demanded that we hold this pose. We buck and flail against it — it’s so uncomfortable, we fear it might break us. But He says: “My children, Namaste. Sit with this for a while. It hurts and it’s unnatural, but this is what the world needs right now. I will heal you.”

In the meantime, slow down, stretch, breathe, and savor the sweet simplicity of life.

Malkie’s husband, Moshe, a’h, passed away at the age of 40. She has been sharing her thoughts and emotions with our readers and on her Instagram page @Kissthekoshercook. May Moshe’s memory be a blessing for Malkie and her beautiful family.

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