For our 20th year anniversary gift, I asked Ari for the absolute impossible.
He was able to do exactly what I asked for..
Ari managed to organize an interview with a remarkably special guest who shared with me SO many gems of wisdom that I’ll forever keep very close to my heart and remember, especially during my own moments of crisis. If you don’t already know her, Dr Edith Eger is a psychologist practicing in the United States. Born to Hungarian Jewish parents, she is a Holocaust survivor and a specialist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Her memoirs entitled ‘The Choice – Embrace the Possible,’ published in 2017, became an international bestseller. Her second book, titled ‘The Gift – 12 Lessons to Save Your Life’ was published in September 2020.
In her book, she has a chapter titled ‘Would you want to marry yourself?’ I sat with this personal question and deeply reflected on whether I would actually want to marry myself and my answer, quite frankly, was NO! It was such an eye-opener for me and I made the conscious intention to from here onward, gift Ari with somebody who’s more aware of how they show up, is more kind and definitely less judgemental.
Dr Edith also shared some important points on maintaining healthy relationships with others:
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.
- Nobody wants to hear criticism, so don’t share it either!
- Don’t ask people how they’re doing. Rather, ask them specific questions such as ‘Would you like to sit with me?’ ‘Would you like to have a drink with me?’ In this way, we learn to pay attention to specific details about others, rather than asking the generic question of ‘How are you?’
Then, something profound happened. Dr Edith shared with me some valuable tools on forgiveness. She spoke about her forgiveness of the Nazis and I found this to be particularly inspiring, without knowing that I would be thrust into putting this teaching into practice very soon after..
Just 5 minutes after the interview, I got an email from somebody I love which was deeply, deeply hurtful to me. I was celebrating the success of my interview with Dr Edith and this particular email felt like a painful rejection from somebody I care about deeply. It went against my core values as an individual and I didn’t know how to process it..
Then it hit me: God had sent me an angel just 5 minutes ago to teach me the exact tools I needed! So with the loving support of both Ari, my children and my sisters I held space for my pain for about a day and a half and was able to grieve, be sad and at the very same time experience full gratitude for the gift of being given these wise and profound teachings! I experienced such a roller-coaster of emotions and realized how God gifts us with both the knowledge and the practical experience to truly embody the lessons we learn. Forgiveness can be a challenging process to endure – and I say process, because it certainly is one. Sometimes we find ourselves holding onto grief and torment over what was done to us and unconsciously using this as the headline of our lives. Forgiveness frees us from the chains of this narrative and helps us to start a new chapter. It truly is one of the most profound gifts which we can offer to ourselves and this very experience just served to confirm this for me. Despite the pain, I also felt both so gifted and blessed at the same time.
Throughout her experience at Auschwitz, Dr Edith kept reminding herself to find the gift in every situation. She kept telling herself these few special words, ‘If I survive today, tomorrow I’ll be free.’ My deepest wish and desire is to use these teachings of what she personally endured to thrive and survive in my own life. Applied to everybody, if we focus on doing the work today, we will reap the benefits and the fruits of our progress tomorrow.
Ari never ceases to amaze me and my heart bursts with such loving gratitude for him making my dream come true. My wish is to spend the next many years alongside him in the spirit of love, empathy, deeper understanding and intimate togetherness. The greatest gift that he could’ve ever given me was the expression of his love, which speaks directly to my love language.
You want to know what made interviewing Dr Edith even more special?
Right after I got off the phone with her, I realized that it was my Hebrew anniversary!
She mentioned to me that she had an aunt who lived in the Bronx who made challah every Friday. So this Friday I made challah in Dr Edith’s honor and in the spirit of so much of gratitude to her for imparting on me such valuable wisdom and truly gifting me with life lessons which I will forever keep close to my heart and use.
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