I had a difficult day today. I did sort my iTunes problem and go for a walk to get a repeat prescription. I also did fifteen minutes of brainstorming about the next step for the work library and went to shiur. That was about it though. I didn’t have time for working on my novel or looking into self-publishing my Doctor Who book. A couple of things happened that made me anxious, even made me think of mortality (mine and that of those around me). One I can’t talk about here and one I don’t think would be sensible to talk about here, but writing is my usual outlet for negative emotions, so it is hard to cope with them when I can’t write about them. I don’t know how much here is anxiety and how much is real. I hope these things will turn out to be nothing, but who knows.
Shiur was difficult again. I’m trying not to obsess over it, because there is a sense of the problem being in my head and my tendency to compare myself to others. I struggled to understand the shiur again and I suppose on some level I assumed that the others did understand it, even though the person who gave me a lift home said it was a difficult shiur. Then I felt inferior to the people who are studying Daf Yomi (the daily page of Talmud) and also to the off-hand way people can talk about holiness and spirituality as if they find it in their lives every day. Do many people really experience those things easily? Or at all? I feel like I am a weird exception, being a strongly believing and practising Jew who feels little positive emotional (as opposed to intellectual) connection to God, Torah and Judaism. Is this the case?
I can see that I am at least possibly seeing things that aren’t there, assuming that lots of people are regularly studying Talmud when they might not be, assuming that people are understanding the shiur when they might not, assuming that people are living lives filled with religious meaning and purpose and connection to God, Torah and Judaism when they might not, but it’s still hard to switch off the voice that tells me that I’m weird, that I don’t fit into the Orthodox community, that I have no connection with God and so on.