Stumped

Updated: Jan 24

Sponsored lizchus refuah sheleima l'Inna bas Dina.

I look at life as fixable. I rummage for loose ends to bring them back together. Despite broken pieces, shattered hearts, feelings of deflation, or disharmony both cosmic and micro.


I look at life as fixable. I rummage for loose ends to bring them back together. Despite broken pieces, shattered hearts, feelings of deflation, or disharmony both cosmic and micro, my life’s mantra is that everything can be fixed. There’s no obstruction that cannot be worked around to achieve the coveted results.I look at life as fixable. I rummage for loose ends to bring them back together. Despite broken pieces, shattered hearts, feelings of deflation, or disharmony both cosmic and micro,

Confession: I might be a bit of an overachiever. I create space for the chicken soup pot on a Friday night in the already-stuffed freezer, and I create a vacant spot in camp when I sign my son up two minutes after registration opens. It’s not about not taking no for an answer—it’s about viewing life as fixable, full of opportunity.

This outlook has cost me endless sleepless nights of working out impossibilities, and sometimes even bending over backward to reach desired outcomes. Sometimes, it’s even cost me myself. But the invested energies are always worthwhile when I see the fruits of my labors.

Until there aren’t any.

My child was badly hurt, and I couldn’t undo the clock. Try as I might, as I sat by my child’s side attempting to assuage his pain, I couldn’t.

I realized that to an extent, I have been disillusioned.

Not everything in life is fixable.

Perhaps sometimes I have to find the humility to admit that I am helpless. As I sat and watched my child in pain, these thoughts powered my tears. I felt insecure and inept. I could not find the clarity of what to do when there was nothing to do. How do I react when disappointment is revealing my impotence?

When the Jews hit the Yam Suf with the Egyptians at their tail, there were four groups of thought. Some wanted to jump into the sea, some to return to Mitzrayim, and some to pray, while others suggested to fight. Each attempted to control the situation, to achieve what they wanted. The response: Stand and see the wonders of Hashem; Hashem will fight for you, and you will remain silent. Forge on.

These four groups mirror the reactions we have at different stages of life. Sometimes we let ourselves fall into a sea of sorrow; other times we surrender to failure, pray, or fight back with vengeance. Depending on what the situation necessitates, we are there to take charge and act.

The wonder isn’t what to do when there are so many options, but what to do when you are void of direction.

To that we have to say: Life isn’t always fixable. I’m not surrendering or allowing myself to be swept away by the sea. There’s no battle to fight or loophole I can exploit. In the face of this uncrossable sea, I am going to remain silent.

G-d, in this home you want me to fix, in the space that I thought was fixable, I need Your help. I’m going to stand in awe and watch Your work unfold. I am going to forge on with the unfixable baggage. I might be itching to do something, to pick up the shards. But You’ve stumped me. So I’m relying on You to fix it.

I have just one plea, G-d: Please don’t leave me in suspense. Grant me the clarity to see Your wonders unfold.

Chaya Silver is passionate about continuously learning and finding meaning in the mundane.

Recent Posts

See All

More Than Meets the Eye

I bet we’ve all experienced a classmate-turned-bestie the day of our birthday. I remember thinking at my eighth birthday party how if someone was watching my loyal “friend” hand out the donuts, they’d

The Women I Wondered About

As I walk by the painting, I chuckle. I’m filled with memories of the child I was skipping down the stairs and brushing past the artwork. I would marvel at the expanse of the painting, and I would fee

Your Superpower

Sponsored lizchus refuah sheleima l'Inna bas Dina. Sometimes we allow history to repeat itself, and we enter our own Egypts. Image walking past a crying stranger. Sure, the possibility of stopping to

LiveandLearn.CH | A project of N'shei Chabad Crown Heights | Support the community