by Melanie Gruenwald
My family and I have been watching Ted Lasso, the popular new show on Apple TV about an American football coach, who is recruited to be a soccer (football) coach in England. Ted Lasso is an unlikely hero, who has no experience on the soccer field. He hangs a sign above the door in the team locker room- BELIEVE. He also keeps this reminder on his bathroom mirror- BELIEVE. This is the first thing and the last thing he sees every day.
Ted Lasso encourages his team to believe they can win. He believes in hope and possibility. He believes in ‘Maybe’.
The word for ‘belief’ in Hebrew, is also related to ‘faith’- emunah. אמונה (Same root as amen.)
In Kabbalah, emunah is associated with the Crown of Faith, flowing down the right side of the Tree of Life from Keter. Emunah flows through chochmah, chesed, and netzach– the expansive, infinite energies. Emunah is not necessarily reflected in whether we believe in God or a higher power. Emunah in this flow relates to the faith, that in all of the infinite possibilities, the answer that is for me exists within this realm.
Emunah exists within the possibility of Maybe. A woman who came as a student, and has become my teacher, introduced me to the book, The Gift of Maybe: Finding Hope and Possibility in Uncertain Times, by Allison Carmen. Carmen speaks about the reframing of fear and anxiety that is held in the unknown.
For many of us, we prefer to live in certainty. I want to know what tomorrow’s schedule is before I go to sleep at night. I want to know what the weather will be before I leave the house in the morning. An unexpected storm feels threatening. A cancelled meeting is disorienting What would it look like if we re-framed the unknown into possibility? Into faith?
Allison Carmen refers to embracing the “infinite ways every situation could unfold.” She tells us “Maybe is not a plan or story; it is the offer of an unfolding experience.”
Perhaps the unexpected storm, or opened up spot on my schedule will create an opportunity to think, to slow down, to breathe, to write a note or to connect with a friend. Perhaps I will have a few moments of self-care or wonder, in ‘found time’ and in the forces of nature.
What if, instead of running through all of the terrible possibilities in our minds, the unexpected holds a moment of emunah for us?
My hope for each of us, is that we can find place to post our reminder to believe. Today is a day full of possibility. Let’s pay attention to what shows up.
(and enjoy the biscuits)
Steph · October 7, 2021 at 11:26 pm
Yes! Those “maybes” are opportunities to see what else the universe is presenting to us. So many possibilities if we are paying attention.
Cherie Kirschbaum · October 8, 2021 at 8:34 am
Melanie-you have , with such heart and clarity captured the essence of why Ted Lasso made such an impact on me. Until just a few weeks ago, I hadn’t binge watched even one Netflix series during the pandemic. To know that there is a Jewish teaching provides even more contemplation and insight to the path of the heart. Ted’s wisdom, compassion for himself and others is a blessing for is all.
Claudia r Trevithick · October 8, 2021 at 10:52 am
Maybe: willingness to walk through the wilderness