It’s one thing to go through a difficult or challenging life experience. It’s another thing to figure out the best way to write the lessons of that difficult period of myself, a mere 18-19 year old, complete basic training in the IDF, one of the most famous armies in the world.
Simply put, along the trajectory of a heroine’s journey, these lessons would pave the way towards redemption. I could either put the lessons to good “spiritual use” and become a better person or just keep them in the lavendar, as they say.
In short, here are 3 top lessons I learned from basic training.
1. I begin to step into a stronger sense of who I am.
Here’s a snippet from my chapter, “Basic Training” to anchor this point. You might want to know a bit about the back story. I got punished for staying in the shower during an important army exercise. My Hebrew teacher from the army, Galit, paid an unexpected visit and gave me some important words for wisdom.
At one point during the night, the lights, the breeze, the birds – everything becomes blurred through my tears. I think of Galit’s visit again and about what she said. All along I’ve been so concerned with making the social dynamics of our garin work, but I realize I don’t have to keep trying so hard. Now we are at a base camp with so many more people, and there’s an opportunity to find myself again here. My garin members haven’t come through for me up until now. I can manage without them, and stop feeling disappointment. I can stop feeling a longing for how I wish things were.
Another voice nudges me. If you’re going to get through basic training successfully, you need to be at peace with truly with being alone. There’s a certain feeling of peace that goes with self-confidence and belief in yourself.
As the night wanes on and I cry even more sweaty and tired tears on my dirty sleeve, early dawn brings me closer to a revelation: Step into a stronger sense of who you are. Forget the past. Focus on the now. You are better than you think. You can do it.
At six am, the guard signs next to the last hour on my small notepad and looks up at me with a smile.“That’s it. You’re done.”
I smile weakly. Done.
At what point in your life did you need to step into a stronger vision of yourself?