Bitterness to Hope – Elul #9

The antonym to despair is hope, the path to get there is through bitterness. This bitterness is not poison of “poor me,” “where’s mine,” etc. It is the bitterness of tasting the despair and saying “I am not coming here anymore!” To get to this bitterness, we have to go deep into our true selves, into our souls. When we reach the depths of our souls and the depths of our true beingness, we can cry out to God and hear our own cry. Reaching in to our essential pain, our core wound, allows us to tear the foreskin of our hearts and circumcise the barrier to hope and joy. This circumcision opens up the floodgates of pain, releasing the lies we have told ourselves and the lies others have told us and adopt a new way of seeing the world and our place in it.


This is the process of creation. We are, in effect, creating ourselves anew. We are going through the darkness of despair to reach the light of hope and joy. This is not easy. It is not devoid of pain. It is a pain that is essential. It is a pain that, in contrast to despair, lasts only a bit.


Tasting the bitterness of our enslavement to voluntary suffering and despair allows us to make the commitment to break the pathway to despair and voluntary suffering. It is hard and scary, yet essential to becoming our true selves. This is the action step to realizing and relating to the positive energy in the world and in ourselves. This exercise allows us to express remorse without shame. We use this step to realize that reparation is possible and necessary.


Today’s questions are:

1)    What is “bitter” about my life that I won’t repeat in this year?

2)    What are the positive gifts that I have and will bring to the world this year?

3)    What am I going to create and recreate that is good for the world and myself?

4)    What are the voluntary sufferings I am going to leave behind this year?

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1 thought on “Bitterness to Hope – Elul #9

  1. For me the antidote to despair is not hope but faith. For me hope is ephemeral, a product of self will and magical thinking. It is where I go when I am in denial about the uglies in myself and the world. For me, it’s about faith…giving it over to G-d, knowing that gam zu le tova…it’s not up to me and my judgement. Maybe it’s semantic, but for me G-d is my Light and my Salvation…in G-d s light I can find the footprints that guide my next right action. In hope I may be dancing in the sunlight, but I don’t know where I’m going. Thanksforyour questions and your instance andyourmodel of ever growing toward integrity and connection. Toda Raba

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