to endure in love
self-care is necessary
fill up your cup first
This is part of a series on counting the Omer through exploration of the seven lower Sephirot of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
Each week of the Omer is dedicated to one of these seven core emotional drivers of human existence. Each day of each week is dedicated to exploring one of the seven aspects of that week’s trait.
This week we are exploring the sephirah of Chesed.
Doing something once is easy.
Doing something consistently over the short term is also fairly simple, once you have the technique.
The real challenge comes with sustaining something over the long term.
Day 4 of Week 1 of the Omer presents the trait of Netzach of Chesed.
The Trait of Netzach
Like all the other Sephirot, Netzach translates to many things, including victory and endurance. Netzach is what lasts. It also speaks to the traits of persistence and perseverance.
In our personal journeys to free ourselves from whatever enslaves us — a toxic job, a home that no longer works for us, a relationship, a habit — it’s inevitable that we will bump up against obstacles or resistance.
Netzach is the trait that helps us navigate the obstacles in our path and the resistance to taking action.
It’s important to remember that because each trait has many interpretations, there’s no exact interpretation of each pairing. It’s up to each of us to attune to how each day’s attribute is showing up in our life at this time. It might show up differently each year.
This journey is not about getting answers; it’s about living the questions.
Netzach of Chesed: Enduring Kindness
One thing Netzach of Chesed speaks to is enduring love and kindness.
When Netzach of Chesed is “out of balance” or depleted it can show up as burnout, chronic fatigue, a lack of interest in what we’re doing, depleted motivation, or resignation.
As much as Netzach of Chesed can help us navigate resistance and obstacles, when it is depleted it can itself be the source of resistance.
A classic example of this is caregiver burnout. This is an issue that has been prevalent with many health care professionals and others in helping fields, especially since the start of the pandemic.
How to Sustain Giving
So how do we sustain our giving, our generosity, our ability to create? How do we sustain the love that drives us, as well as our love in relationships?
It starts within.
These seven emotional drivers are not only about how we relate to the external world; they are also about our inner world, our relationship with ourselves.
“Self-love” often feels abstract and undefinable. I prefer to think about self-care.
Creating a “community of care” requires creating a container for self-care.
We cannot give to others what we don’t give to ourselves.
If we wish to sustain showing up with enthusiasm for others, we must find that enthusiasm for ourselves.
To hold space for others we must first learn to hold space for ourselves.
To attune to what others need in any moment, we must first learn to attune to ourselves.
It may be possible to show up with Chesed for others without filling your cup, but it won’t be sustainable over the long term.
I have found that when I give from a place of depletion, I sow the seeds of resentment. Every act of kindness to others feels like it’s taking away from me.
But when I am full, I give with a pure heart. My generosity is regenerative.
This is why I place such importance on the daily rituals that fill my wells and my reserves. They expand my capacity for generous giving, help me show up with pure presence, and give me the strength to create and hold space for those I serve.
- Where in your life do you feel like you are giving from a place of fullness?
- What do you notice about how you show up for others when you feel depleted, vs when you feel full?
- How do you fuel yourself so that you can give to others sustainably?
- We’ll discuss Netzach’s qualities in more depth in Week 4. ↩