In my work with congregants, one of the questions that I frequently ask, especially as folks are going through tough times, is “what recharges your batteries?”
By asking this question, I hope to help them raise to the surface of their consciousness the people, pursuits, and experiences which allow them to keep going, even when they are fatigued.
It’s the same question that I ask police officers in my (volunteer) work as Chaplain for the Sandy Springs Police Department, and it’s the question that we rabbis are asked to recall in our own encounters with ‘spiritual direction.’
There is an understanding that during crisis, or even in the daily slog that sometimes defines periods of our life, we can lose track of what motivates us…what invigorates us…what fulfils our lives with purpose and meaning.
Most of the time, when prompted, the most heart-felt answers given are ones that are simple and accessible: time with my kids, serving at the ‘soup kitchen’, Shabbat services.
Mental health professionals and rabbinic sages alike encourage us to find those easy to access moments (at least in our memory), and bring them to the forefront of our consciousness. Like stones placed across a fast stream, each one provides us with a ‘next step’ within our reach.
As we once again watch the COVID news, and see some of our reclaimed ‘normalcy’ threatening to ebb, this wisdom is worth remembering.
Simple joys. People who lift you up. Find them. Don’t wait.
I’ll see you at Shabbat services tomorrow night.