Today is one of those days when I felt like I did not have anything worthwhile to say here. I racked my brain as to what lesson I could share…a lecture I may have recently heard, an amazing parable, something profound…and while there was a great class shared by Rabbi Noach Light this past Shabbat, I knew I needed more time to delve into that one.
I was lost… AAARRRGGGHHH!
And then BOOM! I was going to write about losing things.
But that seemed like a topic I had written about before, so I searched old posts, and perhaps ironically, almost a year to today’s date, my post was titled Lost And Found… Finding Ourselves On The Path, In The “Chood” And In The Light (6/14/16).
But this was not really the same thing… though I did write something similar on 6/28/16 called Trying To Find Faith In A Fender Bender… So clearly I am on some kind of subconscious, annual cycle.
I recently posted on my Facebook page a few silly things on missing socks, something I am sure has frustrated all of us from time to time.
The first was: “So I have finally discovered the way to find all those missing socks! Throw out the single ones you have left.. and the missing matches magically appear… UGH!”
The second was: “Finding Socks, Lesson Two: The best way to find missing socks… or anything for that matter…is to lose something else!”
But what I have now lost is far more confounding!
I just found two single socks… while I was looking for a pair of flip-flops that have up and vanished… So Yay…and UGH!
Yes, I like using the word UGH! Fine, that’ a given… But what the heck does this have to do with G-d???
I am a Virgo, and while that means I should be super anal and organized… Anal yes, organized…well… Let’s just say I could be better…much better.
I have things in piles, sure… Yet waaaayyyy too many piles. I know I need to purge and really clean, but I have been putting it off for way too long. The downside is that I lose things… Often! Or perhaps misplace is a better word, since I usually find them. It may take a while, but things usually reappear… Usually, not always. UGH!
With socks there are obvious places to look:
In the washer, especially the newer machines that have huge gaskets. Those things EAT socks.
In the cleaned sheets. Socks can easily get caught up in bulkier items, especially fitted sheets.
Or under the bed. It is easy to have a sock or two fall off and go under the bed, if you are folding laundry there.
But losing a pair of flip-flops that I use often at the gym. That was and is confounding…and frustrating as all heck. How could they just up and disappear? A sock makes sense… They are FAMOUS for acting like magicians and vanishing into thin air… But SHOES???!!!
But again… What does it have to do with G-d?
Before I became more religious and spiritual I would get super angry at things like this… I would stomp and curse the heavens and just get and stay pissed. I mean look, I don’t want or need to spend money on a new pair of flip-flops. These were old, but still in good shape. I do not have extra money to go out and get a new pair… but if you saw the shower at the gym, there is NO WAY you would want to go barefoot anywhere near there either. And sometimes I shower there to conserve water at home. Sue me.So as I frantically looked for my Adidas flip-flops (I was late to the gym), I found a single sock under my bed…and one in the garage, near the washer and dryer. I was looking for one thing, and found another.
The lessons were clear. In losing something I found a message from Hashem… And I found Hashem, yet again.
Hashem was telling me to clean and purge and stop having so much clutter in my life. The less mess, the more freedom and openness and opportunity. The more ability I would have to SEE things… SEE EVERYTHING.
Second, I need LESS things. I need to get rid of what I don’t use, so the things I do use and need, have a better home and are more easily found… Or less easily lost.
Third, Hashem was telling me that sometimes in life, we are looking for the wrong things… Or we may be on a path we think we are supposed to be on, but then Hashem corrects our course and leads us to discover the actual path.
We need to be open to the journey, because it may take us in different directions and have us make wonderful discoveries!
YES… I DID GET THIS OUT OF FINDING LOST SOCKS!
Am I still frustrated over now losing (or misplacing) the flip-flops? Sure. I spelled out why. But I am less mad than I would have been a few years ago. Hashem and Judaism have helped me put things in perspective. I watch the news daily, and my first world problems like this are pretty darn mild in comparison. At least I have socks and flip-flops, and can go to a gym and take a shower. We take so much for granted.
Keep your eyes on the big things, the important things. Stay focused. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter, and that detracts from mindfulness, peacefulness and spirituality, which is far more important than anything else.
And what the heck… If you have single socks, pair them up and make a bold, un-matching statement. Heck, crazy and out-there colored socks are in…fashionable… So make something good out of something frustrating.