in each person that you meet
This is part of a series exploring the seven lower Sephirot (spheres) of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. These spheres are the seven core emotions that drive human interaction.
This is the final day in the first week, in which we have been exploring the sephirah of Chesed. Chesed is about loving kindness, presence, giving, making contact, and how we show up.
Malchut: Sovereignty, Nobility, Mastery
Malchut of Chesed is the theme for day 7 of week 1.
Malchut is most literally translated as kingship, or kingdom. It represents sovereignty, nobility, and dignity. I would also put mastery in this realm, as well as agency.
Malchut is in the middle column of the Tree of Life, just below Yesod. Malchut absorbs everything from above. It is the root, the feet. It integrates all the traits we have cultivated so far, which is why I include the concept of mastery as part of Malchut.
In a domain where we have mastery, we have integrated teachings and experience and we are able to implement them in our own way.
We recognize our own sovereignty; we become our own guru.
In a domain where we have sovereignty we have agency. We are free to make our own choices.
Ultimately, this 7-week period of the Omer is a journey from the physical liberation of the Exodus to the true freedom of sovereignty — the ability to recognize our agency to choose our path. The wisdom we are seeking is within us.
Are You Too Invested in the Outcome of Your Giving?
Many coaches, healers, agents, advisors, guides, consultants, teachers, and parents become invested in the actions that their clients/children take. We might feel a sense of personal responsibility for their actions.
When we don’t respect the agency of those we serve, we might experience the following:
- we feel responsible for others’ actions
- we might refrain from giving to others because we fear what they will do with what we give them — whether that is advice, information, money, or anything else
- we might seek to control what someone does with what we give them
- we feel more drained from giving because we are trying to control the outcome of our giving
- we try to “fix” people
- we might get frustrated when they aren’t taking the actions that we consider to be the “right” actions
- they display more resistance to what we are sharing and close off from their ability to receive it
Not fun, right?
Malchut of Chesed: Respecting Sovereignty in Giving
Part of how we can meet our needs and others’ needs in giving is by recognizing the dignity and sovereignty of each person we meet.
When I recognize my own sovereignty and agency, I take responsibility for my actions.
When I recognize others’ sovereignty and agency, I recognize that they are responsible for their actions.
This allows me to give to others without taking on myself the responsibility for what they do with what I offer them.
It’s crucial to remember that just as we are sovereign, the clients and others we serve are also sovereign.
Nobody needs a guru. Nobody needs to be fixed.
Each human is whole and complete as they are. This is not a journey of improvement. It’s about refining and attuning.
Honoring Others’ Sovereignty is Freedom
When we give with recognition of the other person’s agency and sovereignty, we no longer need to take over responsibility for their actions.
We can release our need for control.
In turn, they can open more to receive what we are sharing.
I have found that when I release responsibility for others’ actions, or my attachment to their outcome, I feel a sense of freedom that allows me to be truly present in the moment and give generously.
And as a recipient, I have found that when my agency is respected by someone who gives to me, it creates a space for me to open fully to what is being offered and to receive what I need without feeling like I must take it all.
I receive with more grace and gratitude. This is in itself a form of giving, because I’m giving another person the opportunity to give to me and the pleasure of feeling that what they have given was received well.
Here are some inquiries to help you integrate Malchut of Chesed in your life:
- In which relationships do I find it easier to establish Chesed? Which relationships are more challenging?
- In which relationships am I honoring (or not honoring) the other person’s dignity and sovereignty when I’m giving?
- Where am I seeking to control what the recipient does with whatever I’m offering, whether money, advice, time, talents?
- What changes when I approach giving from a place of honoring each person’s sovereignty?