Alchemy of Blessing

I once asked Rabbi Shefa Gold for a birthday blessing. She said that on your birthday, blessing flows through you, and she invited me to bless everyone. Here’s the blessing I wrote for this year’s turn around the sun—influenced by a wonderful book by psychologist Miriam Greenspan about the alchemy of Healing through the Dark Emotions. How do we get in the mud with the oogy feelings and find the treasure?

Whatever makes you weep
may it open your eyes
to beauty
Where your heart has hardened
may it crack open and let
the light flood in
Whatever worry squirrel-cages in your mind
may it animate your creativity
Whatever pettiness
worms through your door
may it teach you to laugh gently
at your very human self
May all the wrong turns you’ve taken
the fumbles, stumbles
every epic screwup
lead you to this
this river
this beloved
this work
this burning bush
that was waiting for you
And an extra blessing for this time:
May the latest Covid surge be like the fireworks finale on the 4th of July, where they throw everything into the air … and then it’s over.


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