Havaya Metakenet

18 Mar

What’s that jibberish in the subject line you ask?

(at least a select number of you are asking this)

It’s a much used saying in Hebrew. And a pretty good saying, if you ask me.

If you’re curious what it looks like in hebrew (just in case you want to tattoo it on your ass and not have an embarrassing mistake):

חוויה מתקנת

A recent email conversation with Marie brought up this phrase, and she suggested I write a blog post about it.

I have a tendency to listen to Marie’s suggestions, and anyway, otherwise most of today’s post would be me squeeing happily at the fact that shmerson is back. So, here we go.

Havaya = Experience

Metakenet = fixing, or repairing

Literally translated – “A repairing experience.”

What it is in practice is when you experience something absolutely terrible, or traumatic, and then either go into the same experience again determined to make it enjoyable, or without your determination, it becomes enjoyable. Your experience is repaired, and your trauma, as a result, is healed.

Let’s take a theoretical example: You eat sushi for the first time, the place where you eat it – the service is terrible and you end up having stomach cramps and other general ickiness. You swear off sushi for good.

Two years later your best friend tells you that you absolutely HAVE to go to this sushi place with her. It’s amazing, you’ll love it.

You resist. You pound your fists. You don’t want to do it.

Somehow – you get guilted into to doing it anyway.

You go into the restaurant. You order sushi because you have no choice. You pinch your nose, you take a bite – and it’s one of the yummiest things you’ve ever tasted.

You’re still skeptical. You give it 15 minutes to make sure all is well in your gastro-intestinal area. And all is.

You have one of the best meals of your life – made up purely of sushi.

Havaya Metakenet.

See – the problem is, that I think that most human beings are hard-wired to avoid situations that have been bad in the past. I also think that in this community of ours, we are even more prone to that, because, well, here, we’re not talking about sushi.

We’re talking about loss. We’re talking about grief. Anger. Jealousy. Trauma.

I will never ever be caught dead in the women’s clinic where I was first diagnosed with a blighted ovum. Never. In fact, I wanted to avoid it so much I switched health care providers. I wanted so little to do with that place I changed all of my doctors so I would never have to see that logo again.

I see a commercial for this company and I sometimes still get angry. The fact that Shmerson hasn’t switched providers yet and I still see their logo in the mail every once in a while makes me angry.

I get trauma. And I don’t think I’ll ever want to have a “havaya metakenet” with those assholes.

But I think we all need to be a bit more open to the concept of creating more “repairing experiences” in our lives.

I’m not saying we need to force ourselves into situations that we have found to be traumatic in the past.

What I’m saying is – if we find ourselves in that situation again, we should – from the outset – make an effort to make it a “havaya metakenet.”

And I mean go all out.

In my post a couple of days ago I quoted from an early draft of this post – about how I’m determined to make the next pregnancy a Havaya Metakenet. I won’t repeat those words here, because for those of you who have read it, you know that comes with so many roadblocks. But that doesn’t mean that my determination isn’t there.

But even if it’s not grandiose –  I think there are things all of us can do.

We all have places that we are scared to go, situations that we are afraid to put ourselves in, simply from the fear of the feelings those things may stir up.

But what if we all made a collective conscious decision to re-frame those types of experiences? To make something dreaded no longer dreaded?

Think of how much easier this precarious journey would be.

I’m not saying we can all just wave magic wands and make baby showers magically fun. Or go to a restaurant where we had food poisoning and all of the sudden love it.

What I’m saying is this:

In the past few months, I have been determined to break through my old fears and bad habits. In fact, I think these last six months have been one long “havaya metakenet” for me – to make up for 13+ years of crap.

So – I’m throwing down a challenge ladies.

Next time you’re up against a potentially challenging experience, see if you can make it a havaya metakenet instead.

It may make this road we’re all traveling on just tiny bit less bumpy. (wow, that was a cheesy closing line, wasn’t it? I promise to provide you with a less cheesy closing line tomorrow as a havaya metakenet).

16 Responses to “Havaya Metakenet”

  1. bodegabliss March 18, 2011 at 02:54 #

    Awesome post, lady. I was just thinking something similar today, actually. How, what if we all just pretending for a second that we’re not scared of being pregnant again (this I guess is catered to those of us that have had losses), and maybe that pretending will turn real? Something along those lines, anyway. It was much more eloquent in my head, I swear. But anyway, I like this idea better.

    Havaya Metakenet! I’m in. (Well, at least I will try to be in. That counts, right?)

    Also – I actually had that experience of food poisoning with Sushi and refuse to have a Havaya Matakenet with that place. Ever! And, it took me a long time to eat it again, but I do now. It was just too good to give up entirely.

    • mommyodyssey March 18, 2011 at 14:39 #

      yay! I like it when you’re in! (wow that sounds dirty).
      I’m also glad you are wise enough to realize that no matter what, sushi rocks.

  2. Marie March 18, 2011 at 05:12 #

    How did you KNOW I wanted that tattoo on my ass?!

    And hon, you didn’t have to make up that sushi example. You could have used the real example, with the weddings. (Although, I guess that made-up sushi trauma is Courtney’s reality, so it worked out.)

    • mommyodyssey March 18, 2011 at 14:41 #

      well, you know, I didn’t want to steal your thunder. (or in other words I didn’t want to assume that you would be ok with me talking about it here. but now that I know, in the future I will flaunt your personal life here as flagrantly as I flaunt mine). 🙂

      • Marie March 18, 2011 at 22:19 #

        Fine by me. The only friends we have in common know all about my personal life anyway. Or were, at one point, intimately part of it.

  3. Kristin March 18, 2011 at 15:34 #

    What a wonderful saying and an even better post. My only question is how do you pronounce Havaya Metakenet?

    • mommyodyssey March 18, 2011 at 15:39 #

      thanks Kristen!
      As for how to pronounce it, I spelled it out more or less phonetically. the only exception is that first “h” in the word havaya.
      In hebrew it’s a throaty letter “chet” that has no english counterpart, and the closest would be “h”, like in lehaim, or hallah.
      so stick to the “h”.

      Ha-va-yah Meh-tah-keh-net

  4. Elphaba March 18, 2011 at 15:42 #

    It makes me think of Hakuna Matata… you know, from the Lion King? Sorry was that immature?

    Okay, Marie told me to ask you about these words too–and now I know. That is a good saying–now to learn to apply it to my own life.

    • Marie March 18, 2011 at 22:20 #

      I totally went Lion King at first, too…

  5. me0me March 18, 2011 at 16:46 #

    that’s a big word 🙂

    • me0me March 18, 2011 at 16:47 #

      I meant flagrantly

  6. Kira March 18, 2011 at 23:02 #

    I’m pretty new to your blog so I don’t know all of your history or road blocks, but I wish the absolute best in overcoming in the ways that you can.

    And I’m not Jewish but I have a lot of love for people who are. My surrogate is, and I have some Hebrew on my back from the Psalms… Bring on more culture! 🙂

    I’ll be thinking about this concept in the next cycle we are looking towards.

    • mommyodyssey March 18, 2011 at 23:24 #

      Hi Kira. Thanks for the support. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!


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