My dad is dying and angry and takes his frustration out on me. I don’t want to abandon him, but being with him is painful. How do I handle this?Rabbi Rami: Dr. David Reynolds, founder of the Constructive Living movement, teaches three principles that may be of help here: know your purpose; accept your feelings; and do what must be done. Know your purpose: Be clear with yourself about the kind of relationship you want with your dad. Accept your feelings: You can’t control your emotions, and trying to do so will only add to your misery. Acknowledge what you feel, and have compassion for yourself. Do what must be done: Regardless of how you feel, do what you can to cultivate the relationship you want. Your feelings may not change, but your actions will bring you closer to your dad and your purpose.In Bible study I learned that God is jealous and angry, two emotions I try to avoid. What should I make of this?Jealous and angry people created a jealous and angry God; merciful and loving people created a merciful and loving God. We end up worshipping ourselves and deifying our biases. Rather than burden yourse …
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. His spiritual advice column, "Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler," addresses reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more.
He has this to say about religion: "To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of human origin; each language reflects and shapes the mindset of the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or cannot say as well in another; and the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi-lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence."
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