I used to think that Santa’s little helpers were like the truest expression of goodness, “mitzvot” personified. The most colloquial meaning, of “mitzvot” rather than the religious meaning, would be to express acts of human kindness. The word “mitzvah” originally derives from moral and religious commandments, acting according to law and divine “duty” or precepts.
We express mitzvot every day.
Yesterday I received true acts of mitzvot, and probably, gave mitzvot by stepping into the experience of receiving them.
I had some of Santa’s helpers in my home. And it was fascinating to see how, as hard as it is for me to walk right now, I still placed myself in the role of “elf” and had to be told to sit down. Not once, but many many times.
I was carrying heavy things, stepping up on ladders with my one good leg (thank god for that good leg!), whizzing around to make the chaos more manageable, (so it wouldn’t seem as awful as it seemed for my friends as it did to me), as my elves were “choosing” to do acts of kindness for me. What I saw was it was hard for me to let them. What I realized was it wasn’t about control.
It was about identity.
If I stopped doing for myself, it meant I would have to admit how much help I truly needed. How much pain I was actually feeling. And sitting here, writing this now, even after accepting help on this day, all of it is beyond humbling. It has changed me.
Even Alfie knows it.
He knows I’m moving out today for the repairs on my home to begin and he has elasticized himself to me like I haven’t seen him do in YEARS! Alfie is my dog.
I had two sweet helpers in my home and me.
Three of us... working and packing. I packed all day, the day before, to the point of exhaustion. Yesterday it was so much easier. How about that!??
Those who are closest to me have been telling me to put this construction off until I am well and fully recovered. Now I know why, after seeing how much preparation it took. You basically have to prepare your home to move, to prepare it for your “high maintenance contractors!” Lordy lord!
I thought back to when I helped a friend move twice last year. I spent tireless hours packing up her home. I’d never done that for anyone but myself. And yesterday, having “elves” in my home, I was astonished at how hard it was for me to receive the help.
I still tried to do EVERYTHING!
And then there was a moment when my Beloved called and asked me to sit down, just as they had asked me to sit down. And so I finally sat down. It was PAINFUL to sit down. PAINFUL to feel how much pain I was in. But it was ASTOUNDING to feel how much love was coming my way. SO MUCH LOVE was coming my way.
And I sat for a few moments and felt it.
Often I feel it is deeply obnoxious and dishonoring when you are in the company of another and your friend takes a phone call. This was different. I took a pause. I took in what was really happening. I looked around. And I knew I made the right decision to do this construction now, because it afforded me the opportunity to sit in something I am not accustomed to doing: receiving help.
And the help came in the form of love that was clean and without need. So it showed me I am climbing up the ladder in terms of my own growth.
I could sit. Receive love from my Beloved, witness love happening around me, experience ALL of what I am stating here, and hold my seat. In the past, this have would caused me to fall apart.
Yesterday, I witnessed myself doing everything by myself FIRST, finding it hard to receive, and then surrendering to the goodness that I had consciously called forth. And to be able to do ALL OF THAT in one day, that too, may very well be, a mitzvah!
I’m grateful to see changes in myself. I used to be the person who would give to the point of utter exhaustion. And I don’t think there is any merit in that. My friends didn’t do that. I don’t draw friends to me who will do that nor do I have any ambition to do so. Because we know, we teach others precisely how we want to be treated. So be sure to teach them skillfully.
Yesterday was a deep and beautiful reflection to me and I bow deeply to all of my elves.
Love. Gratitude. And Reverence. And when I have no trouble walking, I hope to extend some reciprocity.
Because after all, isn’t that the yoga?
Blessings to ALL the elves out there doing mitzvot.