You Matter! A message for Rosh Hashanah

high holidays parenteen stress management you matter Sep 01, 2021


By Rabbi Ezra Max

One of the biggest challenges teenagers and even executives have today is that they feel like the don't matter. They feel like they don't belong. They feel like life is meaningless and they are searching for meaning and purpose. I spend a lot of professional time helping people understand that they do matter and they do belong. The reality is that you are connected, and we are all inter-connected to an all-knowing G0d who love us.

Rosh Hashanah is your opportunity to shift your life from whatever trajectory you are currently on and change the direction you are headed. Now is the time to create your own future. Now is the time when you can upgrade the trajectory of your life. 

Fact: G-d loves you. His love is unconditional, no matter how messed up or how much or how many twists and turns your life has taken. No matter how difficult things appear, G-d loves you.

In ParenTEEN, we encourage parents to actively love their children more than their children can defy them. You must express to your kids that you “love them more than they can defy you.” The model for this is from G-d, who loves you more than you can defy Him. No matter what, the fact is and will always be that G-d loves you.

What gets in the way and distances us? Shame. Why? Because we are ashamed of what we did, how we feel, and the breaking of the connection with the Almighty.

My friend Jesse, who works as an addiction counselor, says, “we are all addicted to shame.” Shame prevents us from connecting. It gets in our way as we lie to ourselves, thinking we are unworthy.

This negative feeling leads to emotions like fear, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even OCD. It blocks us internally, creating a jail cell that keeps us locked up and unable to feel connected to anything or anyone, including G-d. How do we break free of shame?

Be willing to show up! Even if/when feeling down or “dirty.”

Showing up openly and honestly is how we can break free of shame and feel connected. At first, we will feel connected to ourselves and then we will talk to G-d.

“Father in heaven, I messed up. I get it. I’m sorry. I feel terrible and I take responsibility. I want to be better. I have lots of things going on in my life that distract me. I live in a world full of distractions that pull me in every possible direction.

Still, the most important thing is my relationship with You. I want to come back to You. I want to be closer to You. I want to do what’s right and what’s good. I want to be in Your good graces. I want to receive Your goodness. I want to be a vessel of accepting Your grace and Your kindness. I want to be a transmitter and a role model for what a Godly being will act like and how I will perform in the world.”

So how do we do this?

We will use a stress-reduction technique that I teach. It can be used in many areas of life. We can certainly use it to help you better connect with the Almighty.

  • Pause
  • Ground
  • Breathe Deeply
  • Notice and Become Aware
  • Pay Attention
  • Choose Consciously & With Heart

Say out loud (or at least in your mind), “G-d, I love You and I’m going to work on being closer to You this year. I’m committed to improving, and I’m excited and anticipating the goodness and greatness that’s going to evolve.”

As we make this declaration, this commitment, we are choosing to inscribe ourselves in the Book of Life.

One of the reasons quoted for blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is “to confuse the Satan.” It’s extremely important to ensure you listen to and hear the shofar sounding on Rosh Hashanah. Seize the opportunity to harness the vibrational energy that cuts through all the noise and distraction to connect our souls deeply with the Almighty. Bonus; take 90 seconds before the shofar blowing and use the previous technique to create an even more meaningful experience.

Remember, you matter. Your choices matter and Hashem loves you. Shana Tova!


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