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“If I am I because I am I*

March 22, 2022

The post below is by far the most read post of any published here at the Spinning Rabbi.  Every day, people from all over the world visit the site to read it.  So it’s time to publish it again with a little update, for those that don’t remember it or have never seen it.

See what it means to you and why you think it is so popular.

“If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But, if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you”. – R’Mendel of Kotzk

Simply stated, what that means can be summarized by

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde.

While that’s correct, let’s look a little deeper and ask why be you. If your life has a purpose (and it does) then you cannot find and fulfill that purpose without you being you. Your value to yourself and the rest of us, is the unique you. There is no one else like you and therefore no one else can fulfill your purpose. Giving and sharing that unique you matters.

When you recognize and accept that, you will realize that your life has meaning.  With that you will be more than happy, you will find joy in expressing your purpose and meaning.

You are not just matter. It is you that matters.

“If I try to be like him, who will be like me?” — Yiddish Proverb

“If you want to be original just try being yourself, because G-d has never made two people exactly alike.” – Bernard Meltzer

“If G-d had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 “If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” – Billie Holiday

 “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney

 “Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

* Oldie but Goodie published and updated for the fourth time

We Are the Champions*

March 14, 2022

Something we are all champions of is, rationalizing our behavior.  Behavior includes how we act and treat others. We rationalize to comfort ourselves when we choose the I over the other, or for our wants, rather than what we are needed for. We sometimes even congratulate ourselves, even though we really know better.

This dissonance creates a struggle for us.  How can one be truly happy when we do that which isn’t the good and right thing to do?  With all the struggles presented to us on our climb, why do we self-impose more? When we do this, we deceive ourselves and take us off our target, our purpose, our true selves.  Our true self is the giving and doing the good and right thing one.  It is manifested in our Soul.

“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” – C. S. Lewis

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” – Walt Whitman 

 A king was traveling with his band of men through the forest. They came across a farm where they stopped to replenish their provisions. The king noticed the side of a barn where there were several bulls-eyes painted. Each bulls-eye had an arrow squarely in the center. The King asked the farmer who shot those arrows and the farmer told him it was his young son. The king wanted to see the boy in action. The young boy appeared with his bow and arrow. He shot at the side of the barn and hit a blank spot. He then walked to the barn and drew a bull’s-eye around the arrow, with the arrow right in the center.**

Be true to yourself. Let the inner-self/soul be transcendent. To do this we must have the strength of our core to recognize when we miss our goal and where improvement is needed. It is too easy to fall into the trap of fooling ourselves. Rather than move the arrow squarely in the center, look squarely at yourself.

“Thou shall not steal” also meant “Thou shall not steal from thyself; not deceive thyself. All the sins of the world weigh less than the conceit born of self-deception.” – Reb Mendel of Kotzk

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” – Frederick Douglass

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

*Another Oldie But Goodie from 2012 updated and re-posted

*I wish I remembered the source for this story so that I could give credit where it’s due

“If I Had It To Do All Over Again”

March 8, 2022

We’ve all heard that phrase and probably used that phrase.

It is usually used in one of two different scenarios.

One, is where one looks back at their life and thinks about where they would be, if they had made different choices.  What if I had done, taken that job, moved to, etc…..?  Generally, one does that when they’re not happy with their current situation.

Those thoughts are a waste of thoughts, time, and emotional energy.  If everything happens for a reason, and it does, then realize that you are where you are now, for a reason.  You need to be, and are needed where you are, and needed now.  So, ideally, thoughts should be focused on what you are needed for.   From that perspective you will find the good in where you are now.  Bring your unique value to where you are now to benefit another or others.

That doesn’t mean that if you’re not happy with your situation that you don’t need to do, what you need to do to improve it.

It also means, that if you are where you are because of a in hind sight poor choice, don’t dwell, but recognize that and learn from it.  Rinse but don’t repeat!

The other scenario, is where you’ve done something that was hurtful to another.  You can’t go back and change it.  Don’t blithely use that phrase, to yourself or to the other, which then sounds like an excuse.  You can apologize, mean it, and then learn from it, so as not to repeat the same, to that person, or anyone.  By realizing the wrong done and not repeating, you have in a way changed it and yourself.  It still happened, but you’ve grown and elevated yourself growing forward.

“What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” – Hillel

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do*

February 27, 2022

In the last week or so, a few people have told me about the sad breakups they’ve recently gone through.  Coincidentally(?), at the same time two people from different countries, pulled up this old post from 2013.  So I thought it was a message for me to re-post these thoughts on love with a little update and new title.  So here it is, with the original title

“Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing”**

Too often what we seek in another is what we want or need, rather than what we can give, or what we are needed for. When you have met that someone for whom all you wish to do is give, and vice-versa, you will have found unconditional love.  That’s the love that is true, pure, and everlasting.

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.” – Katherine Hepburn   

“True love stories never have endings” – Richard Bach

 Do not fear that it will be a one-sided relationship. If that person is the one, then all they will want to do is give to you. So by definition, both of you will be receiving without the expectation of a return for your giving. Giving in order to receive often sets us up for the disappointments that eat away.

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’  Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.” – Erich Fromm

“Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.” – Dalai Lama

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert Heinlein

In this giving, don’t fear losing yourself. You will be enhancing yourself. Your uniqueness, value, and purpose remain intact. You keep it by sharing it with the other and vice-versa.

“Love turns one person into two and two into one.” – Rabbi Don Yitchak Abarbanel

“Two people, two souls, synergize the best in both and overcome the least in each.” – Chassidic Adage

Sometimes the wants block finding love using the excuses of geographical distance, age difference, financial desires, he or she doesn’t do this or doesn’t like that…., etc., rather than letting go and letting the love flow

 “Most people have a harder time letting themselves love than finding someone to love them.” – Bill Russell

 “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” – Tom Robbins

“I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss from her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it.” – Nicolas Cage

Primary rule of a healthy and lasting partnership – communicate, communicate, and communicate

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler

What Love does

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” — Theodor Seuss Geisel

Be Good Do Good Think Good Love Good Be Grateful  Be Healthy

*song by Neil Sedaka

** Title of the Academy Award winning movie and song.

See Me, Hear Me

February 15, 2022

A few days ago, I was privileged to speak to a group at the Sausalito Books By The Bay bookstore.  I was asked to speak despite the fact that I don’t yet have a book to promote.

So now, for the first time on this site, I have a video to share and show all of you.  Instead of reading, you can now see me, and hear me

The most precious non renewable resource is time.  So thank you for using some of your time to watch

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

“I’m So Excited…..

January 13, 2022

and I just can’t hide it”*

At the end of 2021, we excitedly made resolutions/promises to ourselves with an eye towards reaching our dreams and goals.

We began the New Year 2022, with lots of enthusiasm towards reaching those dreams and goals.  Inevitably, for most, that enthusiasm will wane over time.

Here are some thoughts for keeping the fire burning

There are lots of new beginnings.  There is a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, hour, minute……  Each new is another opportunity to reignite the enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the last new.  If we celebrate each new as another opportunity, we can renew that enthusiasm and keep it burning.  So cherish the new of every new, and renew with each and every new.

“The beginning is embedded in the end, and the end is embedded in the beginning”. – Sefer Yetzirah 1:7

With every new, remind yourself of your dreams and goals.  Think about what the goal was and why it’s important to you.  Visualize how it will feel when you reach that goal.  Create a word or mantra as a reminder to be regularly repeated and throw on another log.  With those reminders you will keep the enthusiasm in the present.

Most Important 

Be grateful for each New that you are given!

Remember the words of the Tightrope Walker who said when asked how he gets across

“It’s simple. Before I begin, I find an object on the other end and focus on it. I don’t dare take my eyes off the object while I’m walking. I don’t look to the right, I don’t look to the left, I don’t look down.  As long as I focus on my goal, I make it across”.

Now with all that enthusiasm, remember that it is the Doing!!  “Wishing and hoping… and planning and dreaming”**,  – “Won’t get you where you want to go”***.  It’s the doing that will get you the results.

If it’s worth starting, it is worth that much more when you finish

Your power is in your follow through 

Your persistence says how much you want it

“When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done”.  — Lou Holtz

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

* from “I’m So Excited”, The Pointer Sisters

** from “Wishing and Hoping”,Dionne Warwick

*** from “Words of Love”, the Mamas and Papas

Looking To 2022 With 2020 Hindsight

December 30, 2021

with 2020 in Hindsight

2021, was indeed another challenging year, first with some hope from vaccines, and then concerns with variants.  So another year to put behind us, except for the lessons we hopefully learned.

A continuing and constant thought on this site is that we have no control over what comes our way, we only have control over our response.  2020-21, with the pandemic, certainly made the point of the “what comes our way” part.  It was an extra challenge for the choosing our response part.  It made it in a commanding and global way.  It came to everyone.  Everyone was/is affected.  Yet, we must remember that we always have a choice in our response.

You Cannot Lower Your Mountain,  You Can Elevate Yourself!

You Can Always Choose to Elevate Yourself!

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from “Man’s Search for Meaning” 

Soooo….. let’s choose to approach the New Year with this attitude

Let’s look to 2022, with the hope that the pandemics challenges are at least mostly behind us and we can soon return to normalcy (whatever that was and whatever it will be).

For this New Year, let’s do more than just wish.  Let’s make this a “Happy New Year”.  Let’s make this the year where our deeds make our wishes reality.  A year where we tap into “all of our possibilities” and potential to become the human we were destined and created to be. A year where we each do our part to make our world a better one.  No matter what the circumstances are.

Make 2022  your best year ever…so far!!

Healthy and Happy 2022 To All

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Grateful Be Healthy

Choose Wisely

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