Ok I’m getting lots of questions about dues. Everyone wants to know does it cost to join. I’ve got a real conflict here. If I charge you to join, then suddenly this is a real job and I’ll have to deal with all the guilt of having to do something to meet your expectations. Of course I guess I could charge $300 but offer you a one time only, money back guarantee, 99 cent special if you join right now.
But then on the other hand, if I don’t charge, you’ll wonder is it worth it. Or, as Woody Allen reminded us, “who would want to come to a party I was invited to?” I don’t want you to feel unvalued. God knows, you’re probably more than able to do that yourselves without any help from me. I guess it’s not just Jews who have an ability to criticize themselves. Most of us wander through life with the constant noise of our fathers or mothers or bosses, or some mythic combination of all three yelling at us from inside our heads.
Somehow, since all that crap seems to emanate from somewhere between our ears, we listen as if the advice will really help us. But imagine the voices were coming from someone sitting next to you in the car. Can you imagine (unless it was your Mother in Law), doing anything other than kicking them out of the car? It goes on ad naseum and we tend to listen. That image came from Michael Singer’s great little book, The Untethered Soul.
Sometimes it just takes a little shrug and, as a very funny Buddhist teacher, Wes Nisker, says: “admit I’m just the schulb I think I am”. Even though what I know about Yiddish I only learned when my mother was trying to say something she didn’t want me to understand, the language does seem to provide amazingly complex meanings in short words. Schlub, in only one syllable, captures all the boorish, unattractive, clumsiness that our internal critic knows is a prefect description of us. But what if for a moment you look at these judgments and smile, shrug your shoulders as only Woody Allen might, and grant yourself the gift of realizing you’re doing the best you can. It might just make all this mishigos you’re going through a bit easier to take.