Do we emotionally turn to Hashem knowing how much He loves us?

The most important thing to know is that Hashem loves us so.

All our lives, our behavior can grow closer and closer to His Image and Will.

Listen to this translation from the Derech of Rabbi Asher Freund.

Do we emotionally turn to Hashem knowing how much He loves us?  Listen and consider.

for more on the Derech of Rabbi Asher Freund click here http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1ey

Today’s prayer

In a great act of compassion from Hashem, He sends an experience of awareness. The context of the awareness is in the natural-appearing reality that gives us free willed choice to consider the self-conscious instincts that flow through us as a true identity.  The Arizal calls this self-conscious identity our alter-ego, while our Divine ego that wishes to serve Hashem is our true and eternal identity.

 

Hashem, in this moment the experience of feelings is drawing the consciousness You give me towards messages related to the alter-ego through which You give me real free will.  There is darkness, pain, longing, and confusion.  Hashem, in this moment I thank you for the experience of life and the strength You are giving into my free willed choice.  I choose to fold the strength into a prayerful request that with it, I be able to reveal Your Kindness and Your Kingship. My true longing is to see the King, and despite the obvious natural empathy anyone would have for this situation, as an emanation of Hashem, I effortfully and intentionally feel love for Hashem in order to harness and re-fold the strength itself of the appearing negativity from its presentation in the neutral mundane reality of existence to kadosh, to fulfilling a way to reveal Your Kindness and Kingship.  I wish to make the most High my dwelling place. Please may my choice bring Your Mercy to protect me from the clamorings of negativity,  please help me enact that choice and please may it be a merit for Klal Yisrael, that we may see the King.

Additional resources to strengthen our motivation to make the effort towards real foundation

Over this weekend several writings added to the understandings that I shared last week http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1Lg regarding the management of our stormy emotions and how to cling to real foundation – Hashem – through love of Hashem and a yearning to reveal His Kingship.  The understanding that I have today is that love for Hashem and a yearning to reveal His Kingship provide real boundaries that protect us – this answers our survival instincts with the truth, that protection and survival come from Hashem alone. How?  When we fold our strength from mundane instincts into a yearning to reveal His Kindness and His Kingship, we are associating with Hashem from the side of holiness rather than from the mundane, which is the purpose for which Hashem creates us.  At that moment, we are connected to Hashem Who is eternal and, as part of His Will, we are not subject to the judgments or accusations of the yetzer hara.

Sometimes it is helpful to see a secular tool that on a mundane level touches an outer layer of the depth, the truth and validity of our spiritual teachings that Hashem is our rock and our protector.

Below please find an article by Dr. Jonice Webb, a psychologist and author who helps people with “CEN” childhood emotional neglect.  Childhood emotional neglect is defined by Dr. Webb as what happens when throughout your childhood, your parents fail to respond enough to your emotional needs. In order to heal, Dr. Webb speaks about how those suffering with CEN can give themselves the boundaries they need to operate, despite what happened when vulnerable and dependent.

What I realized and what I want to share is…the boundaries that we need essentially are the boundaries that clinging to love of Hashem and a yearning to reveal His Kingship provide!  When we follow the Torah in this regard, literally the forces of evil cannot attach to us…the aspects of mundane thinking that would pull us into the dark deep simply are repelled, while their strength is re-absorbed through our active loving Hashem into the yearnings of the Divine soul to reveal Hashem’s lovingkindness and kingship into the world.  Despite how remote those goals may seem from the confusion of mind we have when in a mundane state, we can now see in both secular terms that boundaries are needed to help us keep our balance when negativity comes upon us.

Interestingly enough, the Torah portion speaks about the affliction of tzaaras.  And we see from the understanding of tzaaras how love and awe, when properly balanced with Torah understanding, simply provide the emotions with the most powerful boundaries possible – Hashem’s protection given to us because we are choosing to be like or with Him, with He Who is the only Being that is really alive and who has eternal value.  See links below for more on tzaaras and then please review last week’s post http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1Lg and let me know if these added resources help motivate and deepen effort for the work.

 

The writings of Chaim Vital on the teachings of the Arizal can be found in a book called Apples from the Orchard, which can also be found online (see link below.)

In an article referring to the matter of tzaaras found at https://www.chabad.org/dailystudy/dailywisdom_cdo/aid/2968523/jewish/Tuesday-Achieving-Spiritual-Balance.htm  it explains

“Similarly, when we encounter someone who appears to be afflicted with some negative character trait, we should not rush to reject him. Rather, we should first examine ourselves, in order to determine how well we exemplify the ideals of brotherly love. If we are in any way lacking in this regard, we have no right to pass judgment on others, for it could well be that our perception is skewed by our unrefined feelings.

The fact that the symptom of tzara’at was a white spot on the flesh indicates that tzara’at resulted when holy rapture is not balanced by an equal sense of humble commitment to our Divine mission. Divine rapture is an expression of our love of G‑d, whereas humble devotion to His will is an expression of our fear of G‑d and submission to His will. Love of G‑d and fear of G‑d are identified in Jewish mystical texts as the “right hand” and “left hand” of our soul, respectively. Thus, favoring one over the other upsets our spiritual balance.

Opposite forces can only be harmonized by using a third force that surpasses and encompasses them both – the study of the Torah. Studying the Torah with a sense of self-nullification to G‑d enables us to rise above the limitations of logic and nature. We can harmonize the opposites of love and fear, and restore the healthy balance between them. This is another way in which the study of the Torah is the antidote for gossip and slander, bringing healing and harmony into the world.”

 

 

Article by Dr. Jonice Webb

The Four Kinds of Boundaries & How to Build Them

What can protect you from toxic people, keep painful memories in their place, keep you safe and strong, and help you manage your feelings?

Boundaries.

Truly, boundaries are amazing. And good ones are a cornerstone of mental health.

When you grow up in a household that has healthy boundaries, you naturally have them yourself as an adult. But unfortunately, many of us don’t start out with that advantage.

If you grew up in a household with Childhood Emotional Neglect (your feelings and emotional needs weren’t met enough), or if you had a parent with a personality disorder, you may be specially challenged in this area.

Without strong but flexible boundaries, you may be overly vulnerable to criticism or insults from others, you may struggle to manage your feelings internally or prone to emotional outbursts, you may find yourself worrying too much, dwelling on the past, or not keeping yourself safe enough.

People with Childhood Emotional Neglect often have an overly rigid Internal Boundary, which blocks off their emotions too completely. So they can come across to others as excessively unflappable, or even emotionally bland.

If one of your parents had a personality disorder, your Internal and External Boundaries may be overly porous, or too flexible, resulting in emotional outbursts and difficulty managing your feelings.

The hallmark of a healthy boundary is strong but flexible.

As adults, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is understand boundaries, and work on building them for ourselves.

Here are The Four Types of Essential Boundaries:

  • Physical Boundary: This boundary is the easiest to visualize and understand, and has been the most studied. Research indicates that the average American requires about two feet of personal space in front, and 18” behind them to be comfortable. Jerry Seinfeld made this boundary funny when he featured the “close talker” on his show. But actually the physical boundary is more than just space. It can be violated by people whose touch is unwelcome, or by someone who feels physically threatening to you. Your boundary tells you when to set limits and when to protect yourself, by making you feel uncomfortable.
  • External Boundary: This boundary must be strong but flexible. It serves as a filter that protects you from insults and injuries that come from the outside. When you receive criticism at work; when your spouse tells you she’s angry at you; when a driver calls you an obscene name, or when your sister calls you “selfish,” this boundary kicks in. It talks you through what the other person said or did to you, and helps you sort out what’s real feedback that you should take seriously, and what you should reject.
  • Internal Boundary: This is the boundary which protects you (and others) from yourself. It serves as a filter between your feelings, and what you do with them. This boundary helps you sort through your intense anger, hurt and pain, and decide whether, and how, to express it.
  • Temporal Boundary: We all carry our past experiences within us. And we can often tend to dwell on them in a way that is not helpful. On top of that, old feelings often attach themselves to current experiences, and emerge when we least expect them. This is why people blow up over burnt toast, for example. It’s also easy to give the future too much power over us. Spending too much time thinking about, imagining, worrying about, or dreading the future can cause anxiety and prevent us from living in the moment. Your temporal boundary senses when you’re going too far back or forward, and pulls you back.

I know what you’re thinking: “OK, that’s great. Mine are not so good. How do I make them better?”

Here’s an exercise to help you create and strengthen your boundaries. First, choose one of the above four types that you’re going to build. Then follow these steps:

Six Step Boundary Building Exercise

  1. Close your eyes, and count to ten in your head, while breathing deeply and calmly.
  2. Imagine yourself surrounded by a circle. You are in the exact center, surrounded by the exact amount of space that you feel most comfortable with.
  3. Turn the circle into a visible wall. That wall can be made out of anything you like: clear or opaque plastic, bricks, smooth cement or something else. It can be anything you want, as long as it’s strong.
  4. Although the wall is strong, you and only you have the power to flex it when you want. You can remove a brick or soften the plastic to allow things inside the wall or out of the wall whenever you need to. You hold all the power. You are safe.
  5. Stay inside the wall for a minute. Enjoy the feeling of being in control of your world.
  6. Repeat this exercise once-a-day.

Now there’s one more important key to using your new boundary.

Eventually your boundary will operate naturally. But in the beginning, you will have to consciously use it. It helps, especially in the beginning, to try to anticipate situations in which you will need, and can practice using, your boundary.

Let’s say you’re going to visit your parents and you know that, at some point during the visit, your father will make an offhand comment implying that you have disappointed him (because he always does).

For this challenge, you’ll need primarily your External Boundary, to filter out your father’s comment and disempower it. You may also need your Internal Boundary, if you want to manage your own response to his comment. So right before you go, sit down and follow the above steps to get your External and/or Internal Boundary firmly in place.

At your parents’ house, wait for your dad’s comment to come. If it does, immediately picture your boundary around you, filtering for you. The filter asks,

What part of this is valuable feedback that I should take in, and what part of it says more about the speaker?

Your boundary tells you this:

None of this is valuable. Your father’s comment is all about him, not you.

And there you are. You hold all the power. You are safe.

 

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2015/07/the-four-kinds-of-boundaries-how-to-build-them/

 

https://embed.chabad.org/dailystudy/dailywisdom_cdo/aid/3006379/jewish/Wednesday-Looking-at-Others-Positively.htm

Similarly, when we encounter someone who appears to be afflicted with some negative character trait, we should not rush to reject him. Rather, we should first examine ourselves, in order to determine how well we exemplify the ideals of brotherly love. If we are in any way lacking in this regard, we have no right to pass judgment on others, for it could well be that our perception is skewed by our unrefined feelings.

The fact that the symptom of tzara’at was a white spot on the flesh indicates that tzara’at resulted when holy rapture is not balanced by an equal sense of humble commitment to our Divine mission. Divine rapture is an expression of our love of G‑d, whereas humble devotion to His will is an expression of our fear of G‑d and submission to His will. Love of G‑d and fear of G‑d are identified in Jewish mystical texts as the “right hand” and “left hand” of our soul, respectively. Thus, favoring one over the other upsets our spiritual balance.

Opposite forces can only be harmonized by using a third force that surpasses and encompasses them both – the study of the Torah. Studying the Torah with a sense of self-nullification to G‑d enables us to rise above the limitations of logic and nature. We can harmonize the opposites of love and fear, and restore the healthy balance between them. This is another way in which the study of the Torah is the antidote for gossip and slander, bringing healing and harmony into the world.1

http://www.kabbalaonline.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1168164/jewish/Unabashed-Evil.htm

We now begin to see the essential difference between good and evil, or more precisely, holiness and mundanity. The drive of holy intellect is always to seek the relevance of insight, understanding, and knowledge.

The intellect of evil has no such drive. It is entirely content to focus on the experience of the insight, the “wow” or “high” without “polluting” it with moral concerns or relevance. For it, life is a succession of sterile experiences, titillating in and of themselves, but which produce no lasting fruit or change in the individual’s or society’s life.

As the Arizal goes on to discuss, the purification rites of the individual afflicted with tzaraat involves the ritual of the two birds because these two birds signify the mentality of female evil. This egocentric self-serving mentality, that of orientation away from G‑dliness and making relevance into the end-all and be-all of life, living life only for the high, the experience, is the root of tzaraat. Our sages tell us that tzaraat afflicts a person because he has indulged in slander, a vicious indication that his egocentricity has so overtaken him that he is ready to make another person into a mere subject of conversation, without regard for his feelings or reputation. He must therefore be ostracized, sent out of the camp, until his condition passes. As part of his purification he must take two birds, the chirping personifications of pointless and self-serving indulgence, and kill one and set the other free. In this way he utterly dissociates himself from this evil, and is ready to begin his life anew in the image of holiness

How to develop the negative messages of our unconscious minds into a real positive eternal self

One of the things learned from growing up by the ocean are terminologies and experiential understandings of the ocean waves.  As an avid beach lover, our family would be at the shore all day into evening, high and low tides, rough and calm waters.  We  learned how to dive through the waves if a big one was coming so that we would not get tumbled by it.  We learned how to catch a wave and get a ride to shore.  We learned that when the lifeguards closed the beach it was because there was a dangerous undercurrent, a riptide, that people are not strong enough to break free  from.

 

Understanding all the forces at play, it made sense to enjoy the waves but never to go so deep as to not be able to stand up again and touch ground.

 

The water and its currents are forces to deal with.

 

Chesed is often corresponded with water.  When Hashem makes the world, there are the upper waters and the lower waters.  And there is a firmament separating them. Water is chesed, and from water comes life.

 

Hashem sends us chesed through breathing a soul into us that is in a continual breath from Him.  And Hashem in His Chesed to us gives us a body that He Creates.  Into this body formed from the elements of the earth, Hashem breathes the soul. 

 

The forces of the earth are under the control of the yetzer hara, whose goal every moment is to sweep us into the depths of the sea like a riptide carrying our chesed towards its natural uses. However, the purpose of the yetzer hara is to that we can learn to keep our feet on the earth and pass the test, so that we can bring a revelation of Hashem’s kindness and kingship into the world.  Only by being alive are we able to experience the joy of being connected to Hashem and knowing the pleasure of doing so.

 

Each of us is a complete universe yet by recognizing the truth about our interconnectedness with Hashem, together we are able to reveal Hashem.  And doing so brings to visibility His kindness and kingship, which is the purpose for which He creates the world.

 

So how do we do this?

 

When we are suffering, it is because our life force comes into our being and is immediately drawn into the riptide, with a feeling of heading to the deep dark bottom of the sea.  We know where we are headed and we do not necessarily believe we can pull ourselves out.  The waves are crashing all around us and our best thinking is telling us what we need to do to survive.

 

Meet the yetzer hara.

 

And answer it.  Answer it with a breath and a cry.  Hashem, I feel like I am being drawn against my will into the dark because of the natural reactions that I am experiencing …name each one, describe it, tell Hashem when it started in your earliest recollection, what its pattern has been, where it takes you, and your recognition that this is a natural response that you no longer believe is your essential self because you know that Hashem is all good and that He is with you and that He loves you and that you love Hashem for giving you life and this very moment to bring spiritual matter to the side of kadosh.  Thank Hashem for giving us feelings, albeit fallen feelings, to now bring back to Him with a yearning to be with or like Hashem.  Tell Hashem that even with the feeling that what we just asked for is not authentic, that with the convincing strength and disbelief associated with clinging to that whisper, we wish to fold that spiritual energy into being with or like Hashem right now and to please help us.  Please take all the bitter feelings that are coming from thoughts and use their strength as a medicine for building our ability get our feet on the ground of kadosh and Torah so that we may be a vessel to properly serve Hashem and experience the delight of being involved with His kindness and kingship.

 

As we do this, the riptide of the yetzer hara that is otherwise storming the shores and sweeping us away begins to become a regular undercurrent, a softer and even a shallower force that we can see its limitations compared to the tremendous vastness of Hashem as our foundation instead.  Our feet hit real foundation and the experience is inner joy and Simcha.

 

May these words be a comfort to anyone who is in the throws of challenge, to anyone whose life feels like it is being swept by currents beyond our control.  It is not beyond Hashem’s control.  He is stronger, eternally loving, and ready to help.  Stop, breathe, cry out as a beloved child, describe, pray and ask for His Help in being connected to Him by being like and with His Kindness and revealing His Kingship.

 

Our feelings matter because they are created by Hashem and His Way of creating nature.

 

We matter because Hashem is creating us every moment from His Love for us and He only does good so therefore, despite how many negative message we may tell ourselves, we are essentially good, made in His Image, even if we need to grow in being able to express that inner essence.

 

Tell Hashem how you feel.  It is okay to feel. He creates the yetzer hara.  He does not expect us not to have one.  He just wants us to tell Him about it and ask for His Help.  Doing so reflects a proper understanding about the creative power of the gift of speech that Hashem gives us as well as the real free will He gives us.  If we don’t get hung up on how uncomfortable we feel and judge ourselves and others because of that discomfort, then we can bring the medicine from its storage in the physical realm under the yetzer hara to the light of kadosh and revealing Hashem’s love and kingship.

 

Please send feedback in the comments section of this post as you try and have successes.  It will be strengthening for everyone, IYH.

 

ADDENDUM

See http://wp.me/p4Mkdu-1Ln

 

 

Song of what is important

 

In two separate shiurs, from two totally different settings, Rabbi Moshe Genuth and Rabbi Yosef Farhi share more about what we experience as bitter and how to heal ourselves.  May this important information comfort and guide those who had or are having painful experiences and help all of us reach new levels of emunah and yearning to reveal love and Hashem’s kingship in the world.

ADDENDUM

Please read this amazing post “We Have the Geula Backwards” by Chaim David

We Have The GEULA Backwards

How to develop the negative messages of our unconscious minds into a real positive eternal self

Yearning for peace and love?

Our life force pumps through us – where does it flow from?  Obviously our hearts beat and we breathe and the processes of life are active within us, hopefully for 120 years in good health.  But where does it come from?  We come into the world with it, but so far, there is no generic version of it that we can create or recreate for ourselves  or anyone else. 

 

What we feel pulsing through us is directly connected to Hashem’s Will alone.  His kindness gives us life.  It comes barreling through to us from the Throne of Glory and meets our flesh and blood body, which it animates and maintains in life.

Do we understand that it is all kindness?

As soon as it enters the body, it encounters the elements of this world – solid, water, gas, and radioactive elements.  These earthy, watery, windy and firey elements are also filled with Hashem’s lovingkindness, but He is concealed within them.

 An object and a body encounter each other.  It appears as two.  But each is formed of the identical kindness that is its soul.  It is up to see past the presenting forms in order to comprehend our mission.

Our mission is to praise Hashem and reveal His lovingkindness and kingship through our speech and deeds. 

The natural thing when we daven is to feel our minds racing towards what WE have to do.  This is kindness flowing to us with a covering of self-consciousness whispering its lists of goals for the day that we mistakenly believe is our true identity and that reaching these goals is more important than speaking a few sincere words to Hashem.  In that very moment, we have the opportunity to subdue something within us and create an eternal identity for ourselves while unifying the Holy One with its Divine Presence.  In that moment, we can be either like Hashem or with Hashem rather than conflicted in how to spend our time in the moment.

When we have the emunah to comprehend what is happening, that all there is in the world is Hashem and He is sending life force and opportunity so that the self, the real self, can perform the process of unifying His Name, our outlook on our to-do list should shift.  And if it does not, that is okay, we can still cry out and tell Hashem I know what this is and I want to shift to be like You or with You but I need Your help, my soul is very drawn to the to-do list. Please help me daven to You with both my inclinations.

May we more and more understand that the self is a consciousness of what it means to be really alive and of how amazing is Hashem that He can give us a way to know who He is and benefit from that relationship. 

And may we be zocheh to reveal His lovingkindness and kingship into the world and see a new light with peace and love.

Understand and remove confusion of mind!

If we can understand how having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil confuses us, would that understanding help us in the moment?  That is the goal of this post, to describe our confusion and to then have the emunah to push forward with choices to be like or with Hashem rather than enact confusion of mind.

 

It is important to remember the two emotions that our higher soul experiences at all times. The first is love for Hashem knowing that Hashem’s loving presence fills all the worlds, that He is the root source of all kindness and the soul of creation.  The second is awe for Hashem, that He can think of something and it comes into existence.  His thoughts are not like our thoughts.  Yet His thoughts produce our thoughts, meaning that He fills our thoughts with His lovingkindness, even when our thoughts do not feel lovingkind. 

 

Why do we have painful thinking?  Our higher soul knows that although we can be like Hashem or with Hashem in doing His Will, we can never ever be Hashem.  We can make all the effort we want, but outcomes are Hashem’s realm.  Our souls know this, and it is a source of lack that is a constant stimulation for jealousy of Hashem. This jealousy and yearning to be a creator like Hashem Himself is what motivated Adom and Chava to ingest from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Although Hashem planned it this way, so that we would have real free will and be able to polish away the confusion of mind to reveal the love and kingship of Hashem, the battle is very real.

 

In our unconscious, the lack of being Hashem is a real lack we feel.  Because of this, our natural thinking, which is rooted in the yetzer hara and self-consciousness, is constantly reading the “cause” of our distress as coming from the various people and circumstances in our lives.   Imagine if we understood that the cause of the pain is our inability to accept that we are only able to be like or with Hashem, never a Creator equal to Hashem where our wants and thinking come immediately into existence, even if we do “everything right.”  What happens when we become frustrated for not getting what we want?  Do we look to blame someone?  Do we say something hurtful?  Do we experience despair?  These tendencies reveal that what has happened is that the whisper of the yetzer hara “explaining” our unconscious feeling of lacking the ability to be Hashem has taken us into darkness, farther away from being with or like Hashem. The more difficult our childhoods were, when we were vulnerable and dependent, and the more neglect or abuse we experienced, the more difficult this is because it is complicated by added layers of concealment beyond the ways Hashem naturally hides.

 

Thus, if we can accept the reality, that we are created beings Hashem designs to be like Hashem revealing His love and kingship, or with Hashem performing His Will obeying His Torah and revealing His Kingship, we have an answer to what pains us, if we can get the concealments placed over us out of the way as well.

 

The answer is first of all that what pains us is a message from the yetzer hara trying to capitalize on the reality of our lacking the ability to be a Creator like Hashem.  The yetzer hara’s role is evil, to bring us to the darkness, to suckle off of our life force, and then accuse us and take our life.  However, the yetzer hara’s purpose is for us to pass the test, and instead of following it’s despairing messages into darkness and spiritual death, we can recognize the opportunity to devote the lovingkindness hidden within everything, including the hurtful thoughts we might be having, to revealing Hashem’s lovingkindness and kingship.

 

How can we do this?  Firstly, we must know that we are made in His Image and that our self is our G-dconscious self.  Our ego is not our essential self, but ego is rather filled with a pure chesed and a gevura that is hidden in the imagination of self-conscious thinking that we can unify with our higher soul and with which we can fortify our heart to love and have awe of Hashem.

 

There are two important steps thus far.

Step 1 is to accept the reality that we have jealousy and pain because we are not Creators like Hashem, Who utters something and it comes into existence, Who thinks up something and it happens.  We can never be such an amazingly creative being, even though we can emulate Hashem and perform His Will thereby being a channel through which Hashem’s lovingkindness comes into the world and His Kingship is seen.

 

Step 2 is to understand that the image the yetzer hara is showing us and the painful messages, guilt, shame, hurtful talking, feeling insulted, the need to be afraid or angry and more, are not our essential self and have nothing to do with who we really are!  These emotions and thoughts DO, however, contain a potential that we alone can uniquely return from the side of the kelipas to the side of kadosh, and in so doing, we are given the opportunity to receive a unified flow of Hashem’s lovingkindness to fill our hearts in the place of the spiritual energy previously encrusted with messages from our natural reactions and survival instincts.

 

Our survival depends on Hashem alone.

 

These two steps taken together help us to not get ensnared in our biological makeup of survival instincts or our natural egoistic self-conscious thinking.

 

What then do we do?

 

Emunah means that we have the faith to know that we are never here alone, that we are creations given the power of speech to cry out to Hashem and to tell Hashem that we do not want to move towards our natural responses because we love Him and want to see the King, see Hashem’s love and kingship.  Hashem knows that we have a yetzer hara so why don’t we?  Hashem knows that we are not who the yetzer hara whispers to us that we are….that we are a piece of Hashem Himself blown into bodies in order to have contact with such opportunities to unify the Holy One with the Divine presence that fills our painful experiences, so why don’t we know this?

 

It is incumbent upon us to develop trust in these steps and have the emunah that Hashem is really all there is, that He is the only being that is actually alive and that He is giving us contact with an ego and a body in order to serve Him by bringing the spiritual energy from the grips of the kelipa to kadosh.

 

And when we do serve Hashem in this way, Hashem knows what we long for as bodies and mortal beings, and He makes His will our will.  There is only Hashem to trust, there is NO OTHER.

 

Surely we are not the ones running the world.  Hard to admit, right?  Who rules the roost?

 

How can we reach emotional clarity that Hashem runs everything, albeit He gives us real free will?

 

In each moment when we struggle with our perceptions and the drawings that the yetzer hara tells us might be happening designed to bring us to action, especially action that might do damage, we are serving Hashem with love and awe.  When we remember that are essential self is at all times aware of Hashem’s constant lovingkind presence and His Kingship, we can push through the deceptions that would kidnap our true identity and trap us in a self-consciousness that keeps us in the dark.

 

What choice do we have really?  How far has our natural thinking brought us towards peace and well-being?  Without steps 1 and 2, we are imagining that the source of the pain we feel is coming from people and circumstances in time and space.  While we might become triggered and in touch with the true source of our pain – that we are not Hashem, that we are only limited creations who cannot control the world – because of a stimulus from a person or circumstance,  Torah tells us that this is merely an opportunity to unify the Holy One with the Divine Presence.  Are we accepting this role or do we push forward with the whisperings from the yetzer hara and our ego, telling us to take control, to not let that continue, etc.

 

Emergency first aid is to bring Hashem into the picture and unify the Holy One with the Divine Presence, namely the spiritual energy trapped in the imaginings of the self-conscious heart.

 

Being in a body and experiencing life is the greatest opportunity a soul can have.  Only while we are in this world can we act to serve Hashem and unify the Holy One with the Divine Presence, the Shechina.  In order to do so, we have to re-direct the forces within our inner world, correcting our middos from being self-conscious to being G-dconscious.  And that means understanding the unconscious lack that trips us before we even realize we are headed towards self-consciousness.  We must be on red alert to the whispers of the yetzer hara who takes the real lack we have regarding never being able to be a Creator like Hashem and offers its own words to describe scenarios regarding why we feel so sad and how it is this one’s fault, or that one is to blame, or other damaging and negative messages that form our thought patterns over time and build an image that we mistakenly think is us, the real me, the vulnerable dependent  broken me that has to defend itself from attack rather than be “found out” or revealed as imperfect.  THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE!  THIS IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE YETZER HARA THAT WANTS TO TAKE OUR LIFE FORCE FOR ITSELF AND KILL US.

 

So let’s not fall for this any more. 

 

What are the fears and negative images that pain us the most?  Can we detect that they are rooted in either not feeling unconditional love or not feeling like we have real value?  If so, then we can answer with the truth, that Hashem’s love is constant and unconditional and that we at all times have value because we can use free will to choose to be like Hashem or be with Hashem by performing His Will.  There is nothing but Hashem, so how could it be that anything He Creates which is all Hashem does not have the value of being connected to Him?

 

May our new understanding of who we are and what Hashem wants from us help us step towards revealing His Love and Kingship in the world and step back from thinking that we are in control.

 

That said, when we take on this avodas Hashem, we really do lead spiritual energy from where it is snared to a place of being released to form positive influence, and that does give us a great deal to contribute towards the outcomes Hashem brings.

 

May we think deeply on this, find the places in our hearts and minds to apply this, and take steps to really change the world. Because Hashem gives us real free will, ironically, it actually is up to us!

Thoughts on yesod shebe gevurah, building a foundation with strength

The experience of pieces of learning falling into place brings the segments of the learning to a stronger and more bonded foundation.  Yet we need to use our restraint and free will in order for that bonded foundation to come together and to be  platform for action. Here are some pieces to consider for bonding together for action.

 

Understanding how the yearning of our higher soul, that has pure love and awe of Hashem, motivates us to actualize explains a great deal about our pursuits.  The blind spot that is added to our pursuits, however, is the mistaken idea that we can actualize our mission – namely to reveal Hashem’s love and kingship – through the pursuit of physical goals and attainments.  The blind spot is brought to us by our nature, which is given to us in order that we have real free will to follow after pursuits that reveal either our own love for ourselves, our own glory, or, in many sad cases, to repeat and re-enact whatever might have damaged our self-concept when we were vulnerable and dependent, thereby trapping us in pursuits that empty the yearnings of our higher soul into the dust of the earth.

 

The biology of a person tells the story of everyone.  We want love and value, or we want something we believe gives us love and value, we are unable to attain it, we feel frustrated and thereby stressed, stimulating the hormone cortisol, and our natural survival instinct whispers what damaging things we might consider in self-defense.  The more deprived of what we originally wanted when we were vulnerable and dependent, namely love, nourishment, proper guidance, and help regulating our emotions, the more of our life force flows into this natural survival instinct mode when circumstances appear to threaten us in the area of love and value. 

 

To the degree that we did not receive unconditional love to help us learn how to regulate our own emotions, we may have absorbed from modeling coping mechanisms that seem powerful and effective in the goal of “getting what we want.”  Instead of learning at an early age that getting the object of our desire is not getting love or value because love and value come from loving Hashem and connecting to His Value and Will, we adopt the tactics of the more hurtful examples, of the wisdom that they show us in “surviving.”  Inside, the part of us that is fearful is still fearful and longing for love.  We are not relieved of these distresses, despite the attainment of the objects of our pursuits. 

 

The more we rely on the use of these powerful alternatives to real love and value, the wider our experience is and the more often when our survival instincts are triggered we will complete the stimulating lack and frustration with an effective act of power that may be damaging to others and to ourselves, without realizing it.

 

We may even come down to a black and white set of judgments…either you are for me or against me type thinking.  Our nature is happy to step in to our rescue with our best battering rams!  The “simpler” we make our judgments, boiling them down to “does this serve me or not” type questions, the more the survival instincts agitate and spiral the original lacks of love and value that our higher soul is really yearning for,  projecting them onto the people or circumstances before us, and targeting the same with our powerful retaliations to perceived threats.

 

The more we defend these actions as justified, the more we lose sight of the true origination of the lack, which is the absence of awareness of Hashem’s constant love and the impossibility of ever having the creative value that is Hashem’s since we are limited creations only able to reveal Hashem’s love and value. 

 

Existence is an opportunity have a foundation of learning so strong within us that we do not get pulled over the threshold to pursuits that are based in the belief that we have autonomous independent existence.  Rather, we exist to reveal, to trust that no matter how things are unfolding, Hashem is with us and in every moment of emunah, gratitude and trust in His Kindness, we soothe our survival instincts and create positive influence that brings real revelation of Hashem’s love and kingship into the world.

 

Hashem knows that we have this struggle.  We do not have to be embarrassed by having a yetzer hara magnetically and naturally pulling us to the side of despair and destructive action.  But we do not have to go there.  How do we learn to regulate our natural tendencies?  The Torah teaches us about the forces within us, Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy as well as the forces of lovingkindness that flow through us because we are creations made of the utterances through which Hashem creates everything.

 

We learn to regulate our natural tendencies by having spiritual object constancy – emunah – that Hashem is One and all loving.  We are not here on our own.  We are here to bring the spiritual forces within us into a bonded connection to Hashem’s lovingkindness. These are the sparks of tohu that fell into this world in order to be rectified and redeemed.  Thus, each of us has the ability to redeem some spiritual energy through attaining emunah and crying out to Hashem that all we want is to see the King.

 

What happens when we forget?  Our destructive action in self-defense triggers a lack in another who then, with their black and white thinking, agitates and retaliates.  There is no end to this cycle unless both parties recognize and embrace Hashem’s purpose in creating us, to reveal His Love and Glory instead of our finest survival instinct responses, and through that trust and love of Hashem, infuse the spiritual energy with our free will choice to do so, thereby  redeeming the spiritual forces within.  Our actions, based on knowing that He is One, now provide a channel through which real love can come into the world and real positive influence is made.

 

When we are reduced to my view versus your view, and we fight for these with our best weapons, we are not really going to get anywhere. 

May we see how to build a real foundation for our lives, for our families, for our communities and for the world and may we give voice and expression only to speech and deeds that actualize the yearnings of the higher soul to be a channel that reveals Hashem’s lovingkindness and Kingship.

 

We are a manifestation of Hashem's Divine Creative Energy