Vayare'u: It's Okay To Separate Yourself From Those Who Bring You Down!
As a follow up to my last article, "Aries New Moon Thoughts of the Week: Words Are Like Arrows... Express Yourself Carefully!", I would like to share with you an inspiring passage that I just read last Thursday from the book "The Kabbalah Haggadah: Pesach Decoded" by Yehuda Berg. It was as if this passage appeared at the exact time I needed to read it! Funny how that happens! But that's just how God works! Everything is synchronized. There are no coincidences! This amazing passage, titled "Vayare'u", truly resonates with how I currently feel and how I've been feeling for a very long time. Basically, if there is a person in your life who brings you down, makes you feel bad, antagonizes you, brings out the worst in you, etc... then you shouldn't have to be around this person! You shouldn't have to deal with them at all! This passage has allowed me to understand that my reasoning on this issue has been correct all along, not flawed as others would try to have me believe. No matter how much flak I've received from family members throughout the years, I've continued to maintain my position and stand my ground... and my life has been much better because of this!
"The word vayare'u from the word re'a which means friend. All too often, the Negative Side becomes our friend. Satan makes negative actions appear likable or friendly to us. In the torah story of Esau coming to Jacob, Esau had intended to bite Jacob in the neck but instead gave him a kiss. Esau's bite was a kiss. Getting kissed by a wicked person is getting smitten by them. One of the tricks the Egyptians employed in Egypt was to try to make the Israelites their friends. There are people we are not supposed to be friends with. Our power is enhanced when we are able to separate ourselves from the people who bring us down."
"There is yet another aspect to the word "friend. Every time we begin a new relationship, it's important to ask ourselves, "What do we really want from this relationship?" Is it merely to fulfill our own ego and Desire to Receive?" It might seem cool to hang out with certain people, but all too often Satan has a direct hand in this kind of friendship. Fulfilling and lasting relationships are based on a mutual desire to reveal Spiritual Light and bring positive energy into our world, not in gratification of the ego. Real friends help each other grow spiritually. When we associate with the wrong people, we can end up in trouble. This section of Vayare'u takes away the power of Satan to influence us to befriend people for all the wrong reasons!"
And from my experience, one of the wrong reasons to befriend a person would be to make another person happy. For example... Perhaps a close family member wants you to befriend his wife and takes it personal that you do not wish to do so? They may even try to manipulate you by saying something like "If you really loved me you would be friends with my wife or You would try to make the relationship with my wife work"..... etc etc. But what about your happiness? Or are you supposed to be miserable just so you can make someone else happy? I think a lot of people get stuck in this dilemma! Especially when it comes to family!
The vayare'u passage really hits home with me. It reminds me of an unfortunate family conflict that I've been involved in for way too many years in my opinion. Are you ready for a long drawn out story? Ha ha! It's therapy time! I have a close male relative. Well, we were close once, that is... before he met his current wife. Let's call him "Fred" and we'll refer to his wife as "Joanna." In the beginning I liked Joanna. I didn't have a problem with her. In reality, I was aloof. I didn't have much of an opinion about her. I was just happy that Fred was happy. I didn't intend to interfere with that. However, there were some terrible things that happened between the time that Fred was dating Joanna and the time when they were married. Fred's daughter became very ill while in college and ended up in the hospital with gastrointestinal problems. Around the same time Fred's daughter got into a bad car accident while driving a car that she borrowed from Joanna. She borrowed the car to avoid an ex boyfriend who was stalking her at the time. Joanna antagonized Fred's ex wife (in his ex wife's own apartment) to the point where his ex wife ended up putting hands on her. Because of this Joanna got Fred's ex wife arrested. His ex wife then lost a new job opportunity because of the arrest. Soon after, or around that same time, Fred's mother and brother passed away, one after the other. His brother died in a facility that Joanna had referred him to. At this low point in Fred's life, Joanna gave Fred a marriage ultimatum and he accepted it. Fred's daughter was very sick at the time and had lost a lot of weight. At Fred and Joanna's wedding, Fred's daughter was falsely accused of being bulimic by a close family friend. It was very upsetting for her and disruptive to the so-called happy wedding day. A bad omen if you ask me!
After they married, Fred became very distant from his family members and some close friends that he had associated with for years. Joanna even managed to cause a rift between myself and Fred and I never had a problem getting along with Fred ever. Fred and I were like good friends even though we were family. Our relationship suffered because of this woman's presence in his life. And the situation kept getting worse and worse! I tried my best to get along with Joanna, but she had a very special way of doing little things to trigger a negative response from me. It was almost as if she was running a spell on me... on the whole family! Some kind of witch craft perhaps? Or a curse? There were times when I could've sworn that she was trying to get me to hit her... just the way she managed to get Fred's ex-wife to put hands on her. But I was very careful not to do so... as much as I wanted to. I started to appear irrational, over emotional and just plain crazy! Joanna brought out the worst in me and I knew that something was terribly wrong. In fact, at one point, things got so bad that Fred insisted that I check myself into a psychiatric facility. This was Joanna's idea ofcourse! She just happens to be a social worker so she has credibility in that arena. Ofcourse I didn't check myself into a psych unit, nor did I get on the psychotropic drugs that Fred wanted me to get on, as I knew what the real problem was. I was involved in an extremely toxic situation. That was the problem! But the absolute worst part about everything was that anytime I voiced my feelings and opinions about Joanna to Fred I was met with great anger and resistance. Fred didn't understand how I could dislike such a wonderful person. There must've been something wrong with me, afterall, Joanna was a very generous, thoughtful, loving person. And yes, she seemed to be! She always bought me nice gifts. However, what Fred didn't understand was that Joanna's gifts were the equivalent of Esau's kiss. I didn't care about the gifts. I just wanted to be respected and not antagonized all the time!
I finally decided that it was best for me to just stay away from Joanna altogether, but that was easier said than done! It seemed as if she wanted to keep me around so that she could continue torturing me and destroying my relationship with Fred. The more I tried to separate myself from Joanna, the more I tried to avoid her, the more she seemed to appear out of nowhere to antagonize me, which would always result in a conflict between myself and Fred. I just couldn't win! If I stayed around the two of them I was labeled the problem. But then when I decided to stay away from Joanna I was still labeled the problem. No matter what I did I was wrong and I became the scapegoat for all of their marital problems. At one point Fred even told me that I was the cause of their marital problems. I couldn't believe it! I was being blamed for everything! And all I was trying to do was avoid the drama!
In order to get along with Fred I had to find a way to completely separate myself from Joanna. I ended up moving away... all the way across the country but that wasn't enough! One of the biggest problems that I had was that they shared an email account! I would send emails to Fred but to my dismay, Joanna would respond to the emails I sent to him. What a nerve! But it got worse... Joanna started responding to my emails to Fred with long nasty emails. And then we'd get into email arguments! Ofcourse this caused even more problems with Fred. I asked Fred to create a personal email account so that we could have a relationship without Joanna being involved but Fred told me "No". He said that I could just call him. But the problem with calling Fred was that sometimes I would feel bad after speaking with him. I had to separate myself from Fred a bit too! Due to the fact that I am so sensitive to energy email was a better medium for me. But Fred didn't understand this. For some reason Joanna had to be a part of ever email conversation I had with Fred. There was no privacy between Fred and myself whatsoever. I became frustrated that I had to continue dealing with Joanna's rotten disrespectful energy via email. She knew that I didn't want to have anything to do with her and yet she kept responding to the emails that I sent to Fred. At one point things got so bad that Fred asked me to stop emailing him altogether. Ofcourse I was the bad guy causing all of the problems as usual. When we finally went back to emailing one another again, I had no other choice but to block Fred (Joanna) from responding to my email messages. If he wanted to respond he would have to call me on the phone, which I hardly ever picked up, so he would leave me a long voice message. So that worked out well for a while... However...
At some point Joanna was calling me and leaving me voice messages which I would immediately erase. Sometimes when I called Fred on the phone Joanna would purposely answer so she could get a rise out of me and once again cause conflict between Fred and myself. Sometimes when I called Fred I would hear Joanna in the background laughing or talking. She knew she was irritating me and did this on purpose. Fred was completely unaware. One day I called and Joanna picked up the phone so I immediately hung up. This caused a huge argument with Fred... How could I dare to be so disrespectful to the wonderful perfect Joanna? So I started blocking my number when I called Fred so that Joanna wouldn't know that I was calling. She never picked up my calls after that! Thank goodness! I still call Fred from a blocked number to this day!
So then I receive a long letter in the mail... and a book! Guess who it's from? Who else? Joanna! She wrote me a long letter. So I tore it up and threw it away without even reading it. I also got rid of the book! How dare her send mail to me! She knew I didn't wish to engage with her but she just wouldn't stop trying! However this time I didn't mention anything to Fred for fear that I might start a whole new argument with him. And this may have been what Joanna was trying to do? I didn't go for it! Some time went by... perhaps a few years without any issues. Fred would mention Joanna occasionally and I would just ignore it. Things were improving without Joanna getting in the way and purposely irritating me.
Finally, the straw that broke the camel's back... The night before I went to the mikvah for the first time (I wrote about this in one of my previous articles) I received an amazon package with a box of matzah from Israel and a seder book. I thought I must've made an accidental purchase. So I tried the matzah. It was delicious. But I didn't feel so great the next day. I went to the mikvah and had a terrible experience. Then I was depressed for about a week. The whole time I was depressed I was eating the matzah that had been delivered to me. In fact, the only days I wasn't feeling depressed were the days I didn't eat the matzah... which was Friday night and Saturday when I was observing shabbat and eating challah. I intuitively questioned the energy/ ingredients of the matzah. I wondered if the matzah had a bad effect on me. I wondered if the matzah caused my depression or if the mikvah experience caused it. I finally decided that it had to be the mikvah experience. The matzah couldn't have been the issue! That just didn't make sense! That is until I found out who sent the matzah!
So approximately two weeks later I receive a voice message from Fred. He was asking if I received some matzah and other stuff. I called him back and told him that indeed I did receive the matzah and it was delicious. I told Fred that I thought I had ordered it my mistake. So Fred starts to admit to me that he didn't purchase the matzah but that it was a gift from Joanna along with some other items... namely the seder book. I was upset but didn't say anything. Joanna once again disregarded my wishes and made contact with me... but this time it was sneaky. It was anonymous. And Fred allowed this! He was a party to the transaction. He didn't foresee any problems. So finally during the conversation with Fred I couldn't stay quiet anymore and I asked Fred to please let Joanna know that I do not wish to receive any more gifts from her. I told him that I do not wish to connect with her energy. Receiving gifts from her is connecting with her energy. He didn't really understand what I was saying. But even worse... I told Fred that I started eating the matzah the night before going to the mikvah and ate it for the whole week that I was depressed. Fred knew about the mikvah experience and the depression that followed it. So Fred tried to change the subject quickly and asked, "But the matzah tasted good right?" I told him that Yes, it was good but I was depressed for a week. So Fred finally snaps and angrily screams out, "That's bullsh*t!" Basically, he was saying that my feelings are bullsh*t. Afterall, how could a gift of matzah cause depression right? At this point I very quickly said Goodbye and hung up the phone. I had to separate myself from Fred's negative energy. What Fred didn't understand was that asking me if the matzah was good was equivalent to asking me if Esau's kiss was good. Sure, it was good if you like to be bitten. In summary, yes, the matzah tasted good, but it caused more negativity and grief as usual because it came from Joanna. Even if her intentions were good, which has always been questionable to me, the result is always the same! Fred gets angry and I'm blamed for being the bad guy. I appear to be ungrateful! Unappreciative!
But it gets worse... Fred's anger during our phone conversation, and perhaps Joanna's energy as well, caused some strange things to happen after that phone call! The next two days we were hit with a heat wave in Los Angeles. It must've been over 100 degrees. But the central air in my apartment wouldn't work! This is the first time that this has ever happened in 11 years! The central air unit needs to be completely replaced! But it gets worse... I developed a cough, then sneezing, a runny nose and exhaustion. Yup! I didn't get depressed this time! Instead my central air conditioner died and I got sick. I'm sure I will be fine. No cause for concern. I will take my natural remedies and I will recover as I always do. But this is what happens to me when I'm hit with bad energy, judgment, anger, etc... Not everyone is as sensitive as I am! But this is what I have to deal with.
I truly hope that after Fred reads this article, because I am going to send it to him, that he finally understands why I do not wish to connect with Joanna's energy in any way or form whatsoever. I do hope that Fred can finally understand my position once and for all and that we can finally put this whole issue to rest and move on in life! Or Fred can do what he typically does and get reactive and angry and blame everything on me. And no, I'm not saying that I'm perfect or any better that Fred. Yes, I get angry sometimes too and I can get reactive... but I've made tremendous progress over the years and I'm not as reactive as I used to me! The beauty about the timing of this article is that this week encompasses the energy of Passover, a time when we are all capable of releasing ourselves from the imprisonment of our own internal reactive nature and ego.
Final thought... In "The Kabbalah Haggadah: Pesach Decoded" by Yehuda Berg" it states, "According to Kabbalah, mercy means "time." We inject time into our emotions so that we don't react impulsively. Waiting and restricting our reaction creates space for the Light to fill, helping us to respond in the spiritual manner that is appropriate for the situation." On that note.... Chag Pesach Sameach! Happy Passover! Peace and Blessings!
(As for Fred & Joanna... I am not angry. I am not hateful. I've apologized and forgiven both of you in the past. As you may recall, Joanna didn't accept my apology because it wasn't authentic because I refused to continue connecting with her energy after I gave the apology... so be it! Once again I apologize and forgive you both for what you've put me through. At the same time I thank you for this challenge. It has been a 20+ year challenge and a really great one at that. This has been a tremendous life lesson for me in learning to keep my distance from people I shouldn't be around. This has been a tremendous life lesson for me in learning how to control my emotions and be less reactive. I do not wish to be part of this drama anymore. The only one who benefits is the negative side. Demons and negative entities feed on this. Let's stop feeding them. Let's stop being their food source. I know you don't get what I'm saying, but someone reading this article will understand. I just want peace. I just want my wishes to be respected... finally! Fred, please tell Joanna, kindly with love and the utmost respect, to stop trying to interact with me, stop trying to tap into my energy, stop sending me gifts. It is not welcome! She is not invited! Regardless of her wonderful intentions please respect my wishes. The best thing she can do, the best gift she could give me is to keep her distance from me. That's the gift I want! Sure... maybe one day we can get a long? But friendship starts with respect. Respect my wishes okay? And Fred as for you... Yes, you have helped me a lot over the years... you have helped me financially and I am truly grateful for that. I'm just hopeful to receive a little less judgment and a little more understanding from you in regards to my feelings. That's all! I truly hope this article doesn't upset you. But the reality is, if I tried to tell you all of this over the phone or in person, you just wouldn't hear me. And you might just scream out "Bullsh*t". I do hope you can hear me now. Try to place yourself in my position and ask yourself how you would've reacted this whole time if you were me. FYI... I think this is going to have to be the very last time I bring up this subject. I'm starting to feel a headache coming on. I think it's time to separate myself from this negativity. I think it's time to finally fill this darkness with light. Let's get this right okay? Let's not have to do this again in the next life! I do not wish to repeat this. You know what... I'm putting it out there right now... No! We are not repeating this in another lifetime. This bad cycle ends now! Over and done! The End! Thanks in advance for understanding!)
UPDATE May 12, 2022: My spiritual mentor advised me to reach out to Joanna to make peace with her... so long story short... Everything went well except that both myself and Joanna became sick on the exact same day after we had started corresponding with one another through email. She caught a 24 hour stomach flu and I caught a cold. How's that for energy? I do feel better now though... Glad this chapter in my life has finally come to an end!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!