During the holiday season we have time to reflect and think deeply about our lives. I’m sure you’ve put thought into your new year’s resolutions. But with Rosh Hashanah, a time of reflection, behind us, now we move into Sukkot. Sukkot is a time of vulnerability, a time we remember that God rules the universe. Now is the time to put our full trust in God.
How do we do that? We use the sukkah as our guide and the lulav and etrog as our tools for success.
On Sukkot we leave the stability of our homes to dwell in a temporary hut. This reminds us that the One Above runs the world and that we can count on his protection. The sukkah represents our vulnerability to the elements and our relationship to God.
What stabilizes you in your dating life? Who and what do you count on to protect you? Our homes represent protection, but the truth is that our real protection lies in God. The week of Sukkot is the perfect time to focus on strengthening your trust in God.
Practically speaking, you can make a minor change that will help you make a major shift in your thinking. Instead of hopelessly wondering, “Where is my soul mate?”, replace that question with a prayer: “Please, God, help me to recognize my soul mate when we meet.” By including God in your thoughts about your soul mate, you are reminding yourself that all things happen according to divine plan – in the right order and for the highest good.
You’re also allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You are acknowledging that you need divine assistance to gain clarity and recognize your soul mate.
The Four Species
The four species also help us to recognize that our faith and trust belong with God. We shake the four species in six different directions to show that we are completely surrounded and protected by Him alone. Each part of the four species represents a different part of the body, and each has a lesson for us.
Lulav represents spine
Our spine balances our entire body. No matter what comes our way, it’s flexible enough to handle it, yet strong enough to bear the challenge. How flexible are you when it comes to dating? Are you strong – able to handle the dating ups and downs? Are you over-flexible – uncomfortable speaking up for what you want? You may be smart, funny and a good person, yet not have confidence in your dating life. It is important to identify whether you more closely relate to strength or flexibility. The answer to this question isn’t what matters; rather, understanding where you are now will help you become who you want to be. Wherever you are on the spectrum, it’s best to shake yourself towards the middle and bring your life into balance.
Myrtle represents eyes
There’s always another way of looking at things. For example, if someone suggests you date the “boy” or “girl” next door, someone you already know, you might be interested. You may give it a date or two, but maybe not more than that. But consider this: If you already know someone, then you have to go out five times. Yes, commit to five dates. Why? Your brain needs enough time to catch up to your eyes. And your eyes need time to adjust. About five dates will allow your vision to become clear. (As a matchmaker, I have sometimes only agreed to set someone up if both parties agreed to five dates.)
By committing to this number of dates from the outset, both sides are open to waiting to see what happens and giving the potential relationship enough time to grow. Plus who needs the pressure of trying to figure out if this is your sou lmate on the first date?
Willow represents lips
Often on first dates, my clients do such a good job of being on their best behavior that they aren’t being themselves. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t guard your tongue; you most certainly should! However, remember to speak in a way that represents who you are, allowing your potential mate to see more than your polite manners. We are sometimes afraid to let ourselves shine, especially on a first date. But if you don’t let yourself shine on a first date you may not get to a second date. Also, remember to use your lips and smile. First-date jitters usually affect the face and make it quite obvious what you are feeling. A smile will lift both you and your date, shifting the experience from a chore to a joy.
Etrog represents heart
Ever had a broken heart? Most of us have. Have you healed from it? My father taught me to inspect what I expect. You’re expecting a life with your soul mate. First, let’s make sure you have room inside to allow someone else in. Before planning your next date, take a few minutes this week to see if you’ve healed from your past. Identify where you may still have pain and allow yourself time to heal. There is no prescribed amount of time for healing, as each heart is unique. Listen to your intuition to know when you are ready to move on. When you do move on, remember that words from the heart enter the heart. Although you were hurt in the past, it’s still important to speak from your heart. Your vulnerability and openness will best attract your sou lmate.
Dating Sukkot-style means embracing your vulnerability and trusting that God has your best interest in mind. May you blessed with flexibility and inner strength, may you speak openly from your heart and may you have clarity when you see your soul mate!