“Life is too ironic to fully understand. It takes sadness to know what happiness is. Noise to appreciate silence & absence to value presence.”

Most of my life I’ve been battling with feelings of sadness, depression, and uselessness despite things that some note as great achievements. I’ve had better and worse days, and tried to stay afloat feeling that life is a fight, and I am obligated to be good and do good regardless of how I felt about my own place in the world.

And then – everything changed.

A couple of years ago I have made a decision to work on my own happiness. My reasoning was simple – with my dad gone, and my super strong mom becoming just a bit less strong, and my girls still needing me even though they had become fully independent by then, I realized that since I did not have the luxury to just leave this world, I’d better pick myself up by the hair, and make myself healthy and reasonably happy.

And I did it! Boy, did it take work! And does it take work every day until now. And long-acquired habits do die hard. And yet, I am so happy I put myself on this path where at day one I literally fell on my face while walking to my first class knowing full well how much I hated the thought, but how much I needed it.

The woman who taught us, ten scared, mostly middle-aged ladies trying to overcome our problems said many times: “Do not try to change the world, change yourself, and everything around you will start to change”. Of course it was hard to believe, hard to start, and hard to proceed, but I started like she said – from physical, to intellectual, to spiritual. I am sure she is not an inventor of the practice, but for me it was all new. Every day I was fighting with myself, and I still fight. However, now I believe it this wholeheartedly, and I know it works. You just need to make one small step after another. I feel better today in every way that counts. I have energy that I’ve never had before, and I am happy. Happy physically, happy personally, and so happy with my girls, really grown up women now building their own lives.

And for all of that I just wish to say ‘thank you!’. This goes to everyone – to my teacher, to my friends, to my husband and family, and of course, to The Gd Almighty that brought me to this day and sustained my family and myself until this time. I also want to thank you, my readers, most of whom I don’t personally know, but I hope your struggles will give way to happy times too, and if I can help you in this in any way, I will try.

Tomorrow start the last days of Pesach, and I am sending everyone of you the most important blessing of the most important holiday – may you be free to do what you came to this world to do – whether for yourself, your loved ones, or for the whole world. May you respect your freedom and that of others regardless of which holidays you celebrate.


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