The Big Picture always gives me fuel to energize my life. Drawing away from the detailed mundane facts of the situation, and looking at it in higher terms always helps me pull out of my cramped, subjective position, into one where I feel I can (at least somewhat) participate in the injunction “Let Us Make Man” (which according to Rabbi Twersky, is Hashem speaking to man himself about the dynamic, Divine partnership that we have together with Him in creating our lives).
So, a part of this picture is that Hashem has blessed us all with parents who have given us amazing gifts and strengths. Even though we are all responsible for our own teshuva, them being who they are has allowed us and encouraged us to grow into the kinds of individuals who could and have come to this place in our lives. I know that Hashem chose my particular parents to give life to me, to be my nurturers, knowing that this kind of artistic, idealistic American home was exactly what my neshama needed, in order to grow into the truth seeking baalat teshuva I have become. (And, as well, our parents, and the scattered sparks that they embody, and the special Jews we have become are part of what Am Yisrael has needed, in these post-Holocaust, pre-Mashiach times.)
Yes, it has not been an easy road. Yes, there have been obstacles and difficulties set up by my choosing a different path from theirs. And very often, the gifts and blessings that I have received are in the lessons I’ve learned from struggling with my situation. Yet, the more I am in touch with my sense of gratitude towards them, the more I identify and cherish what their particular gifts have been for me, the more I continue to interact with them coming from that loving, appreciative place, the easier it becomes to let go of my expectations of how things should be, and to really accept, believe and be content with my portion. (And even if I do hold onto these expectations, my folks have absolutely and objectively been amazing, incredible people throughout this whole journey, especially considering what their expectations were here, and how they’ve dealt with the package they got.)