Last week, I had a little nervous breakdown.

The only reason it was little, as opposed to BIG, is because on Thursday morning I told my husband that if I didn’t make it out to Uman for Shabbat, I was probably going to crack up into a million pieces.

The warning signs had been gathering steam for two weeks, but we were deep in a massive cash crunch, so there was just no way I could get to Uman. Then on Tuesday, I was chasing some receipts for my husband’s end of year when we realized we’d been accidentally overcharged for something by 4, 000 shekels – the cost of spending Shabbat in Uman.

So, my husband asked for repayment, and Thursday morning, we booked the flight.

Thank God, because I was in such a low place by that point, I felt like the sky was falling in.

Usually, I’m pretty open about what sparks all this stuff off, and I can tell you that I’m definitely dealing with a million and one big stressors at the moment, that have all been depleting my strength and challenging me. I’ll list them here, to make it neat, but that’s not really what sent me off the deep end.

  • I have to move apartment by end of Feb, and still haven’t found somewhere.
  • I have to complete the purchase of an apt in Harish by end of Feb, and the bank turned down the mortgage.
  • I have to complete my ‘Crush your stress’ masterclass (haha!) and start marketing it properly.
  • I have to somehow figure out tickets for trips to the US and UK for family simchas.
  • My kid wants to drop out of school again.
  • My other kid is leaving her National Service half way through the year

All these stressors could easily pass for ‘the reason I’m cracking up’, and in the past, I’ve made the mistake of thinking they are the root cause of my emotional distress.

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But last week, I realized they are just the icing, not the cake.

The stuff that was really causing me to crack up last week is far more intangible. It just runs so deep, and goes to the heart of this whole idea of what I’m really meant to be doing in the world.

After 46 years, I realized that I’m still the perpetual weirdo, that I’m never going to see things the way other people do, or react to things ‘normally’, or be able to fit myself into the neat little boxes that apparently suit ‘everyone else’ – whoever the heck they are.

I’ve been fighting that clarity since I could think, because it brings a whole big bag of loneliness and self-doubt along with it. For four and a half decades, I’ve been waiting for me to mellow enough to fit in with the world, or for the world to speed up enough to keep up with me.

And last week, I finally understood that it’s never going to happen.

That understanding totally blew me out the water, and left me feeling like ET would feel once he understood the Mothership was never showing up to take him back home.

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I am a perpetual weirdo, stuck in a place where no-one is ever going to ‘get’ me.

This has implications for a lot of things, not least all my ongoing attempts to keep trying to ‘brainwash’ people – including my family members – into seeing things and experiencing things the way I do.

Up until last week, I thought it was just a matter of time until everyone comes around and starts to pick up the same vibes I do about things. Just a bit more ‘Moshiach light’ needs to slip under the door, just a bit more ‘Moshiach consciousness’ needs to shine in through the windows, and they will finally understand.

But now, I accept that’s never going to happen.

So last week, I fled to Uman to get some advice about how I’m meant to relate to myself in this new paradigm.

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Now I know I’m just never going to get that meeting of minds I’m craving, that sense of connection, now I know that I have to keep ‘the real me’ mostly under wraps if I want to have peaceful relationships and not cause constant friction, how do I relate to myself? How do I like myself?

How do I use all my ‘weirdness’ in a way that will still benefit the world, without causing me all this heartache because I feel so lonely and misunderstood so much of the time?

That’s why I came knocking on the door of Uman, the only place that makes me feel a little bit ‘normal’.

There was no bolt of lightning, no neon sign that suddenly lit up over the Tziyon saying

Rivka, do THIS!!!!! Be like THIS!!!! Just change THIS!!!!

But I came to Uman dragging a whole big chain of doubt, unhappiness and emotional pain behind me, and mostly, it’s gone.

I’m feeling connected back to my soul and connected back to God and the true Tzaddikim again. I have a lot to figure out still, but somehow, everything is going to turn out for the best.

And now, I have to get on with finding somewhere to live, and putting the finishing touches to my ‘Crush your stress’ course (haha!)

God certainly has a sense of humour.

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7 replies
  1. michal rus
    michal rus says:

    this may be just how moshe rabeinu felt…..

    left in a basket at the mercy of the elments
    right from then his life clearly is nothing like all the “normal” people
    Not a regular jew
    not quite a mitzri
    running for his life
    marrying the daughter of the excommunicated ex priest of the time,
    has visions and conversations with Hashem
    Reluctantly takes his speech impediment to save the jews
    to become their leader!

    what irony

    what lonliness…
    dveikus with Hashem comes through those moments alone. recognizing each person was created as an individual. and each person is a leader to those within their circle of influence.

    and you Rivka are a beautiful unique daughter of Hashem who is discovering her gifts and how to bring goodness to the world and reveal the light of Hashem for each one to be able to do the same in their own way

    keep on keeping on!!!
    Chazzak!!

    annd hatzlacha rabba with those challenges

    Reply
    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      I think maybe every Jew on the planet, if we stopped trying to be ‘normal’ and stopped trying to fit in, really feels like this on the inside. We know that this world is not really the ‘place’ of a Jew. But maybe we can only really access that truth when life gets uncomfortable.

      Reply
    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      It’s strange how this prayer keeps coming back into view, I think Hashem wants me to start saying it… Thanks, anonymous.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    You are inspiring me to follow the path of Beruria HaTzadeket Echet Chayil Rabbi Meir Ba’al HaNess z”l, she was pertinent and farseeing. (hope to be accurate).

    Reply
    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      That’s actually a little scary – things didn’t end so well for Beruria. She got carried away with her own intelligence, started challenging the Rabbis of her day and ended up being seduced by one of her husband’s students (long story…) BH, I should only reflect the good bits, and tikkun the rest!

      Reply

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