Skip to main content

Yesod - Connection/Belonging


Counting the Omer, usually it goes from Passover to Tabernacles, but I have decided to "Count the Omer" from Easter to Pentecost. 

Well,we reached the end of the second last week yesterday and the focus for last week was:
Yesod (יְס֖וֹד)
which is translated as "Foundation" which is the attribute assigned to God. The emotional quality in humans linked to Yesod is "Connection" 

What follows is my thoughts on Connection:

I saw a Tweet which asked the question, 'Is loneliness a cause of mental illness. 94% of the approximate 700 respondents said it was. 

Loneliness is not simply the lack of company. If it were there would be a simple and straightforward solution - find company. Put all the lonely people in a room together and they wouldn't be lonely any more.? Company can relieve the pain of loneliness for a while, but it is not a lasting or permanent solution. 

I believe that at the core of loneliness is the loss of connection. The feeling that "I don't fit in", that "I am not wanted." (whether that feeling is based in reality of actually not being wanted, or entirely imagined -  it is still real to the person experiencing it), feeling or being physically or emotionally shut out, unwelcome, and unaccepted. In short "I feel like I do not belong."

A sense of belonging is a BASIC HUMAN NEED

So everyone wants to be part of something. That something might vary culture to culture, person to person, but sadly the desire to belong is not enough, it is necessary for the group to be willing to accept, welcome and incorporate the person hoping to belong. 

The basic social grouping is the family unit - parents, possibly siblings, grandparents, possibly wider family. The family should be a group in which love and acceptance is unconditional. Sadly, this is not always the case and people do face rejection by even close family members. There are many supposed reasons, or possibly excuses for someone to reject a family member. It might be that the family member has chosen to join a religion which the family hates. Or they might support a political party or cause which the family does not understand or accept. It might that they choose a partner who the family does not accept. 

This occurs a lot for young people of the LGBTQI+ community whose family cannot aspect of their lives.  

Failure to give a child that love and acceptance that they need and deserve is a crime - it may be neglect or it might be emotional abuse.  

However the family is only one group which people might choose to associate with and there are very many groups that  we might belong to. 

One major association for many is the religion they belong to.  Again, you would think that a religious organisations  would welcome all those who want to belong, but the truth is many religions and sub-religious groups want people to belong on their turns and will not tolerate the slightest diversity or independence of thought. And will reject people who do not conform to their prescribed rules and rejection. 

Sadly, as a Christian, the Church has been complicit in many rejections of people to did not conform to their "standards" = yes they perceive them as "standards" but  in fact thery just an excuse for discrimination, and that is not acceptable, and I do not believe it is in line with the message of love and acceptabce that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

When we read the Gospel texts carefully, we see that the only people Jesus seems to “exclude” are those who exclude others. Exclusion might be described as the core sin. Don’t waste any time rejecting, excluding, eliminating, or punishing anyone or anything else. Everything belongs, including you. 

Richard Rohr 

If loneliness is eating you up - look for the connection - there IS one - that;s how we have been made - look for the connection. Reach out to a family member, a religious group, or a friend - you do not need to do it on your own. 


Popular posts from this blog

Boundary Marker

Wednesday evening and time for Vespers at St Mary's. However this was different. Along with the usual, wonderful calming tunes that permeate the environment, and the sound of the bells and the ringers practice their changes, this Wednesday had a visual component, the work of two local artists. Christine had an installation that explored the link between clothing and boundaries. It was the words "boundaries, real or imagined" that caught my imagination. I thought about the many boundaries that exist. Particularly our imagined boundaries. Or maybe not imagined, maybe they really do exist, in our own minds. 

Boundary Marker Where is your boundary marker?
What is your boundary marker?  A row of pebbles, or a painted line in the street?  A fence topped with barbed wire,  A brick wall with broken glass, set in concrete?
Is there an entry or an exit, or is it entirely enclosed? Is it it a sanctuary, a place of safety and solace, Or are you serving a sentence, self-imposed-  Of s…

Lament and Rejoicing.

Philippians 4:4 clearly is a command to Rejoice - Always. How is that humanly possible - especially when faced with the terrible things that happen that can only be described as tragic. How does the believer marry these two seemingly polar opposite responses to what life throws at us.

There is in the Bible the Hebrew book of Lamentations - which is read during the fast day of Tisha b'Av (9th of Av [Hebrew Month]) It is a period of Mourning for observant Jews, when they mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. On Tisha b'Av (Wednesday 2nd August 2017) It begins at sunset of the previous evening, when we gather in the synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations. Besides fasting, we abstain from additional pleasures: washing, applying lotions or creams, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Until midday, we sit on the floor or on low stools.

We also know that Jews commemorate the terrible evil of the 20th Century - the Holocaust. This is also an annual looking back…

Prayer of Lament

My last blog was about Lament and Rejoicing. I spoke about the mournful memories of past and the reflection on tragedies and injustices whilst as Christians, we remember that there is a "city on the hill" and we have hope.

In that Blog I was reflecting on the Jewish commemoration known as Tisha b'Av - remembering the destructions of the Temples in Jerusalem, both Solomon's Temple destroyed by the Assyrians and the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans.

I also reflected on the commemoration of one of the most hideous battles of the First World War, that took place a century ago - the Battle of Paschendaele - where a quarter of a million lives were lost. Yes ultimately the Germans surrendered and the Allied forces one, but it was an horrendous war and that was a particularly horrendous battle.

I also reflected on the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that partially decriminalised homosexual activity - a good thing - but also a marker that things were not good an…