Q: I have fallen in love with a man I only recently met. I want to yield to my feelings, but I don’t want to end my marriage. What should I do?
Rabbi Rami: How wonderful to fall in love! I’m happy for you! As for wanting to yield to your feelings, that has already happened. There is no “wanting to yield” to feelings. Feeling is itself yielding. Feel all the feelings that arise in your situation: joy, fear, lust, love, guilt, etc. Don’t fix them, argue with them, or repress them; just don’t imagine you must act on them, either. Feelings are for feeling, not necessarily doing. Action should be rooted in your greater life-purpose and not in ever-shifting feelings. As my teacher David Reynolds put it: Know your purpose. Feel your feelings. Do what must be done to fulfill that purpose.
Falling in love is a marvelous thing. Be grateful. Don’t be stupid.
Q: A friend of mine is always singing the English nursery rhyme, “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, mer- rily, merrily, life is but a dream.” She changes the word “merrily” to “maya,” illusion, and insists life is a …
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has an advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addressing reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art. Rabbi Rami hosts our podcast, “Essential Conversations.”