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Isn't it pretty?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Calm at the Eye of the Storm - On Becoming Religious

I am sitting at the Inner Harbor, in my favorite spot, about a foot from the water while I write this.  It is cloudy but there is a great breeze and looking at the rippling water always captivates me.  Even though there are a lot of people walking around and lots of background noise, there is something peaceful about just sitting here and enjoying the beauty of my surroundings. I think becoming religious was similar to this feeling.  When I went to Israel the first time, my life was not very happy.  I was directionless and purposeless.  My parents had recently gotten divorced, I had few friends and no one I felt really understood me.  I often wondered about the meaning of it all, whether there was a purpose and reason to life. Then I traveled to Israel and was introduced to Torah and Hashem’s love for us.  I was taught that I have a special, unique purpose for being here, that Hashem put me here and gave me all my experiences for a reason.  To me, learning that made the background noise fade somewhat and led me strive for that inner peace that I find today sitting at the Harbor.  It gave me a solid core inside of knowing that all the hard things I was dealing with were for a reason; they were so I could grow and actualize my purpose.  And while those things were, and still are, difficult to deal with, I knew they were happening fir a reason.  And eventually, I would be able to look back on them and be thankful that I was given those challenges in order that I could grow.  I still find it incredibly difficult to view the challenges in my life in this way while I am dealing with them, but I try to keep this in the back of my mind and it does make things a bit easier to deal with.  So that is a little bit of why I became a baal teshuvah.

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