Malkhut: Improving Oneself by Finding Inner Strength

As we have arrived in the last week of the Omer, some correspond it with the attribute of Malkhut. Its literal interpretation is ‘sovereignty’, ‘leadership’ or ‘kingdom’. For me, it isn’t necessarily about being a leader or even a king. Malchut is about being comfortable with who you are and using your inner strength to become a better version of yourself, step by step.

According to the Torah, Jews are commanded to count each of the forty-nine days between Passover and Shavuot: the Omer. In this period, we are reminded of the process of redemption which started at Passover. However, this process was not completed until we received the Torah.

In Kabbalistic interpretations, God revealed attributes that interact with each other and the world. These attributes, sefirot, would consist of various traits or tendencies of personality. Counting the Omer is, in this interpretation, a period to focus on self-growth.

‘Working on’ Malkhut, then, would seem to imply developing leadership skills or to work set incredibly high standards for yourself. However, I believe that it should be explained differently. Malkhut isn’t about being a leader per se. I don’t think that you have to mirror yourself, for example, to people with incredible leadership skills, like a prime minister, to become a strong(er) person.

In my opinion, Malkhut is something that everyone has. It is an inner strength that you unleash simply by believing in yourself. It doesn’t have to uphold ridiculously high standards of leadership. You just have to become comfortable enough with who you are, and as a result, you will be able to do what is needed at the right moment.

Most of the time, in my experience, it is you who is holding you back from achieving great things. Many people have the habit to set the bar low for themselves, out of fear of failure. In The Netherlands, for example, students often decide not to challenge themselves academically, as they fear that they aren’t smart enough.

To become comfortable with who you are, you need to perceive difficult moments as opportunities to get through. Every time you encounter something that you would usually avoid, something that is challenging, try to beat it.

Improving yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be a big challenge, such as opening that business that you always dreamt about. It could be as small as being honest to yourself and others, accepting your weaknesses, and thinking positively. For example, try to say ‘no’ when you don’t want to do something.

Are you a pessimist? Try to think positive. Are you stressed out all the time? Try meditation. Do you feel unhealthy? Try to set a physical goal to improve your health, like walking a few thousand steps each day or drinking enough water.

There are many different ways to improve yourself and overcome difficulties in life, by accepting the challenges that you encounter. If the challenge seems too big, try to start small. However, I’m certain that everyone has their Malkhut within themselves and by searching for their inner strength they’re able to become leaders within their own capabilities.

Jonathan

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