Often, when people or children don’t adhere to a certain belief, it can feel like rejection. However, it’s important to recognize that this is necessary to allow them the space to discover their own truth in an authentic way. Thus, it’s not truly a rejection but rather a rebirth.
Holding space for the process of individuals, be it children, students, or friends, questioning their beliefs and embarking on a journey of self-discovery can be challenging for parents, teachers, and friends. It can be difficult to let go of preconceived notions and allow others to forge their own path, especially when it may differ from our own beliefs or expectations.
By embracing this perspective, parents, teachers, and friends can become valuable allies and sources of support. They can offer guidance, create safe spaces for open dialogue, and encourage critical thinking, while also respecting the individual’s autonomy to arrive at their own conclusions. This approach fosters mutual growth and learning, strengthening the bonds between individuals and allowing them to celebrate the joy of discovering their own authentic truths together.
Being privileged to walk alongside individuals on their journey of self-discovery reminds me of my own experience when I was searching for my authentic self and my personal connection to God. I vividly remember the time when I felt the need to let go of the God I was taught about and embark on a quest to find the God within me. It seemed to some as though I was rejecting tradition and religion, but in truth, I was yearning for a deep, intimate relationship with a God whom I perceived as loving and caring. I needed to shed the preconceived notions and start fresh in order to find the beautiful, authentic God with whom I wanted to build a long-lasting, meaningful relationship. This process was transformative and liberating, as it allowed me to nurture a connection that resonated with my innermost self, fostering a profound sense of love, acceptance, and spirituality.
It can be terrifying, exhausting, and sometimes painful to witness this process. Hang in there and give yourself the love and strength you need to get through it. Try to see the personal growth you’re experiencing throughout the journey.
Let’s remember that we teach our children to follow the people from the Torah, to look up to them, and to learn from their experiences. If we examine the תנ”ך, we can observe numerous individuals whom we admire for their distinctive journeys of self-discovery, their relationships with God, and their beliefs. No two individuals are identical, and we should learn a valuable lesson from that. Many aspects of being human are acceptable, and I believe that God values the relationship more than perfection.
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