Relationship Advice Kabbalah Style
I picked this book – The Spiritual Rules of Engagement by Yehuda Berg – up years ago for three pretty straight forward reasons; I don’t often see Jewish relationship books, I’m curious about Kabbalah and Yehuda Berg rocks. I didn’t pick it up because I was looking to fix a relationship or was looking for Mr. Right so it promptly found a spot on my book case where it has sat contentedly ever since. Until this week when I decided that a preemptive Day’s of Awe read might be a good thing and I am really glad that I did.
I’m going to try to explain, as a novice, how Kabbalah relates to relationships so stay with me here this gets a little muddled before it makes sense. We start with the male and female aspects of the universe, right being male and left being female, the right aspect is about sharing of energy or channeling light and the left aspect is about receiving this energy or being a vessel. When you combine the two you have harmony in that the aspects giving and receiving are complimentary to each other. The problem with this is when people assume that relationships between men and women should function the same way. In effect if a woman (the left aspect) focuses solely on external things (receiving light from the right) for happiness or fulfillment then she moves away from the very thing she desires.
Huh? Well according to the book where we mess this up is in the belief that men are inherently the origin of light and that women inherently are vessels for this light, something that many patriarchal societies emphasize. The truth of this though is that every individual contains both aspects. We are built to simultaneously share and receive light. And because we can do that within ourselves we should stop looking (receiving) externally, reacting to every outside influence. Instead we should focus all of that effort into looking inside ourselves for validation, happiness, acceptance and approval. Make sense?
Another interesting point the book brings up is in a list of common reasons why people get into relationships or get married and fail because that are solely looking externally, examples; we’ve been dating for year and it’s now time to get engaged or I’m almost 30 and my clock is ticking or I couldn’t possibly find someone better, more attractive, wealthier etc. All of those are thoughts and reasons that stem from fear and uncertainty which in the long run cannot serve happiness because they are sourced in negativity. Right?!
So granted I’m a little jaded in my relationship views so going into this there was more than a few snickers here and there and I totally thought reading the introduction that this book is probably not written for me BUT I did find some practical things that we all should consider.
- You’re the boss of your choices – take the time to determine if he’s worthwhile, if your values are in alignment and if your life styles are compatible and have the courage to end the relationship if at any point in time you determine that they’re not.
- Your happiness is not created by a man. Repeat – Your happiness is not created by a man.
- Practice resistance, be patient and not reactive, let him come to you but make sure you set the pace that you are comfortable with.
- Never believe what a man says choose to trust solely in what he does.
- Accept fully who he is, what he does and his beliefs or end it. If you can’t support him AS IS then he is not the one for you.
- Attraction is only the recognition of the familiar and not an indication of long term compatibility.
- Fear and insecurity are about you not caused by him.
Bottom line, if you have an interest in Kabbalah this is a good one to pick up mostly because Yehuda Berg rocks at explaining the background and making everything very accessible to everyone regardless of their level of knowledge. If you don’t but are struggling with your relationships then you may still want to check it out. You may not agree with everything but there are some excellent points to consider, especially if you haven’t yet found the right one.