How to Get to Mars – a Rosh Hashanah Metaphor, by Hanna Perlberger
First, click on this link immediately and watch this jaw dropping video. Then, read the rest of this blog. No cheating.
I saw this video this morning, two days before going into Rosh Hashanah. I watched the rocket go through many changes, metamorphoses. Each time, the rocket uses what it needs to get to that stage of the journey, and then sheds what is no longer useful to it. Each time it gets smaller and more focused.
Once each propellant system was done, it was immediately discarded. If this didn’t happen, if there would have been a malfunction, if it didn’t release its excess baggage at each precise moment, not only would the rocket not have been able to go to the next stage of the journey, the excess weight would probably have sent it crashing back to the earth.
The rocket does what it has to in order to get to its goal, constantly adapting to each phase of its journey. The success of the mission is by no means certain, however. All the scientists can do is design this rocket to get into a trajectory to reach Mars. Once that happens, they wait. And wait. Its journey is no longer controllable by man. It has been positioned for success, but there is no guarantee of outcome.
As the rocket (now a tiny fraction of its size) approaches, new uncertainties arise – will it survive the crash? Will it be able to transmit a signal? Will it work?
The important thing to remember is that nothing on the rocket was extraneous. It was all by design. Our outdated and untrue beliefs about ourselves – and others – may seem out of our control, or certainly not by design. But that isn’t so – at the heart of all of it, it is an intention to protect. Often, coping mechanism or survival skills we take on that serve us in one instance, cause dysfunction in another setting or stage of our lives. If we dig deeply, we can get to the root of the belief or behavior, and understand that its original purpose was really trying to serve, trying to protect. So we can honor and thank that belief, that behavior, for serving us, and then let it go.
As I go into Rosh Hashanah and I think of the choices I want to make that will have me show up in the world differently, I have to look behind me, as well. What am I dragging into this new year that doesn’t work for me, that is weighing me down, that can cause me to crash, that will prevent me from moving ahead on my journey? What resentments or false beliefs about myself am I holding onto, that don’t serve the mission of my life?
Like the rocket to Mars, there are no guarantees. That’s the fate and mystery of life. But, unless we put ourselves in the trajectory of the path we want to go on, unless we equip ourselves for each phase, for sure we will never ever get there.
The rocket had a mission – Mission to Mars. All human beings have a mission. What’s yours?