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Beating Kevin

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Trepidation and Exaggeration

Eating matza all week is doing a number on my scale and my kishkes. After 2 Seders, at least 8 cups of wine, and too many matza balls, I was 110% sure that I gained 5 pounds. I almost didn't go to my meeting because I just didn't want to see it on the scale, as if my full 40 pounds had come back.

Well, I went for 2 long jogs, sucked it up, and went to my meeting... Magically, I was only up .8. It felt like a miracle. Not as big as a sea splitting, but close.

I can't help thinking that we make way more out of a situation than what is actually there and the fear can be crippling and keep up from moving forward.  This is what I saw when I prepared the Torah reading for 7th day of Passover. The Israelites are fleeing Egypt ( in Hebrew, Mitsrayim can also be translated as narrow place). We read  "And the Israelites looked back and Egypt was chasing after them (Exodus 14:10)."  It didn't say that they saw Pharaoh and his army, which would have been more accurate. They, in all of their fear and trepidation, imagined that the entire nation of Egypt was pursuing them.

It reminds me of a teaching from the sages that God created everything on Earth except for exaggeration. Human beings created that. Not that we don't have real obstacles to success, but sometimes we blow our slip ups out of purportion and allow fear to halt our weight loss and our success. How many times did I stop going to meetings because I hated seeing gains on the scale? As if not going was going to make the gain disappear. I imagined stepping on the scale at a meeting and feeling this huge wave of disappointment wash over me.  It was easier and more pleasant to just stop looking, stay home, and whine about it to my friends.

What have I learned? It's better for the journey to push through the inevitable disappointments and fears in order to stay on course. I need to remind myself that my mind blows that fear out of proportion. God said to Moses, "stop whining and move on forward ( Exodus 14:15)" and that's what I take away. My mind is the biggest obstacle to success. It has an easy time exaggerating my failures and it glosses over my successes and it makes me want to shut myself in.

It is time to stop feeling like all of Egypt is on our heels every time we try and break free and time to start remembering that we have extreme power behind us on this journey out of our narrow places.

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