Troubleshooting Your Personality
|Posted on May 8, 2023 at 1:45 PM|
As I wrote last week, it's the time of Sefirat HaOmer - the Counting of the Omer. We do this for 49 days - 7 times 7 - looking at each of the 7 character traits which make up the soul. Every day for 7 days we are examining one aspect of the personality by interweaving it with itself and each of the other 6 aspects.
Even if you are Jewish, you may not know about this practice during this time of the year. I know that when I found out about it, I was incredibly impressed with my own heritage! It's so sad that the Jewish ways have had to be hidden for so long but very exciting that in the times we now live in, so much is being revealed. I feel incredibly fortunate to get to take a small part in that revelation to my small group of 200 or so subscribers.
Troubleshooting the Personality
I also feel fortunate to have been born during Sefirat HaOmer on the day before the holiday called, Lag B'Omer. My birthdate on the Jewish calendar is this Tuesday! (Find your Jewish birthday here.) It's so much fun to have a birthday on this day because there's a holiday the very next day where there are outdoor bonfires and bar-b-ques and parties! I always feel like I get to celebrate my birthday every year with a party thrown just for me!
Because I'm born during the Sefirah, I get to see how the character trait that we are examining on this day relates to my personality. Really, if you know the 7 character traits and the entire Tree of Life, you can better understand your personality but being born on a day when one of these traits is supposed to be looked into seems to further this idea.
Would you be surprised to learn that the character trait based on my birthday is Humility? Here is the card that I created for this Sefirah.
Kabbalah Cards are Visual Affirmations of Jewish Wisdom
The 7 traits or Soul Powers are:
Chesed - Lovingkindness
Gevurah - Discipline
Tiferet - Compassion
Netzach - Endurance
Hod - Humility
Yesod - Bonding
Malchut - Nobility
Of course, these are very deep and nuanced subjects and much can be written about what the true meaning of each of these are. This is why when they are explored, so much can come out of them. On my Jewish birthday, we are looking at Netzach within Hod - Endurance within Humility. And as an example of how we use this structure, here are some of the things that we are looking at on that day:
"Am I firm in my positions or do I waffle in the name of humility? Does my humility cause others to take advantage of me? True humility does not make you into a 'doormat', on the contrary, Netzach of Hod gives your humility enduring strength." Paraphrased from the book by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, A Spiritual Guide to the Counting of the Omer, 49 steps to Personal Refinement According to Jewish Tradition.
When I think about my natural tendency toward Hod as a main personality trait, I look at troubleshooting my personality. This is because my desire to isolate, along with immersing in my own insecurities are areas I need to constantly work on. Finding Netzach within my Hod nature is a continual desire and helps me to get outside of myself. I see my Hod nature as completely meditative and internalized, while Netzach asks me to do the opposite - to be more like the business man which is the image I used for that card!
Netzach is Opposite Hod on the Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is a very rich symbol within Kabbalah. It helps us to troubleshoot our personality tendencies because each of the sefirot are supposed to contain each of the other ones. It's when we aren't in balance but instead find our personalities immersing within one sefirah over another, that we run into trouble.
The Tree of Life can also help us to heal from stuck emotions. I created a handout for using the sefirah to do a writing exercise that helps people work through either anger or fear in order to heal that emotion. Please feel free to reach out to me if you want me to send you that writing exercise. I have used the exercise multiple times and find that it really does help me to shift my stuck emotions! And there's nothing like another nice self-help tool in your arsenal of tools!