The Mikvah Challenge

The Mikvah Challenge
My emotional terrain was far from smooth, as I allowed my shopping list of resentments to build, layer after layer of solid rock around my heart. It was but a few hours before my scheduled appointment at the Mikvah, and I saw no chance for reconciliation with my husband. How does one be intimate with the very person causing so much chaos and frustration? 

I wasn’t feeling too spiritual either. My inner rebel kicked and screamed about the myriad details involved in preparation for immersing in the Mikvah. 

Did G-d really appreciate what it took to bathe, comb, inspect, and dunk?

And for what? My husband thinks I’m critical. I think I’m sharing my challenges caused by, well, him. I don’t want to do this!!!

I pack my bag and go. My companions are: skepticism, resignation, and frustration. I enter the newly- renovated preparation room and for the first time in many hours, I close my eyes and inhale all the way to the bottom of my stomach. I have a thorough bath to take right now, and I need to figure out how to relax. It’s not so simple.
I turn on the water. Not as hot as I like it. Oh well. Another bummer to add to my collection. Wait, maybe not. Maybe water doesn’t always have to be as hot as I like it. I can’t control the water. Sometimes, things happen beyond my control. 

Oh, again. 

Water is imperfect. People are imperfect. Husbands are imperfect. The water is running and so are my thoughts. Maybe the chaos is my own doing? By harping upon all the imperfections? I can accept the water. I can accept myself. Maybe it is time to accept the flaws of other people in my life? I can’t control them. 

The thorough and careful bath. Brilliant. The idea slowly grows on me. It is no fun being so demanding. It is so much more peaceful to let go. To surrender. To accept reality and not fight it. 

It is my turn to enter the Mikvah.

I slowly descend the three steps and completely submerge myself. I linger in the water. I want to hold onto this. It is so clear to me now, how my ego gets in the way of my relationships. With people. With G-d. 

This is total immersion. I am giving my entire self over to G-d. Including my ego. I am surrendering to a Power greater than myself. It is so soothing. 

I am rust-free for the moment. Fresh water can flow through me. The potency of the spiritual energy isn’t lost on me. I am ready to have unconditional acceptance of the most important person in my life. 

My question is now different: Do I really appreciate what it does for me to bathe, comb, inspect and dunk?

Reprinted with permission from Chabad Mom's Corner

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