Categorized | For You, Holiday, Rosh Hashanah

Do you suffer from “avoidance”?

Posted on 17 August 2010

Hi, I’m Rivka Slatkin and I’m an Avoider. Sounds like I’m at some sort of addiction meeting, doesn’t it? What’s an avoider? Believe it or not, there is a real mental health diagnosis as Avoidance Personality Disorder.

I don’t know if I can claim an official title to the Diagnosis, but as my long time readers know, I believe that unless we live life with “eyes wide open”, we are living a somewhat “limited” life and cannot fully use all of the tremendous talents and gifts we have as capable Jewish women.

How do you know if you are an avoider? If there are things you “avoid” knowing about- in other words, if you find yourself thinking or saying, “I don’t want to know about that” or “Let’s not talk about that”, you are avoiding something and thereby holding yourself back from experiencing the pleasure of accomplishment and the satisfaction of living fully in the present.

There are a few examples that come to mind specifically from my life. Money was (and still can be at times!)  one of those sticky topics that seem to have triggered much avoidance for me. I would spend money but not really want to know how much I spent or if I was spending according to our budget, I just had a “rough” idea of what was coming in and out.

When I finally realized that I had to take a look at my money situation and not avoid it anymore, even though it was painful to get started, I’m proud to say that I can now look at money with my eyes wide open. It was hard and the honest truth was that it wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be.

What are your stuck points? What are you avoiding?

This is a very timely topic for beginning the Jewish New Year as Rosh Hashanah is approaching. The Hebrew word for Year, Shanah, is related to the Hebrew word for change, “Shinui”. Meaning, that Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of Change.  The opportune time for change is leading up to and on Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of human beings and it is interesting to note that what makes man unique, different than an animal, is our ability to choose. Animals, conversely, are creatures of habit.

We have the ability to make distinctions and to become conscious and aware of what we are doing. Instead of doing same old thing and following habit, Rosh Hashanah is time to take stock of who you are and what you’ve been doing until now and deciding to act consciously. Make a kabbalah or a commitment to be different this year.  Live your life with the lights on and be fully present with yourself and your family, even with those topics that just seem too scary to face. Like getting organized perhaps? Or dealing with relationships? You can do it, and there is always plenty of guidance when you begin looking.

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