The article below is a result of the discussion following the guided teshuva (see www.brachagemach.com) this morning. Listen here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/jq5aet3x7u4bgo2/july302014am.mp3
Maintaining our role as tzelem elokim when we are experiencing disempowerment because of the insults or actions of other people is a universal challenge.
All of us were raised by parents who shaped us with the best intentions. Wanting to keep or regain the approval of our parents, we conformed to their shaping. Yet because people including parents are not perfect, children often in their child-like thinking develop a concept within them that may not be healthy, may subject them to experiencing low self esteem, may cause them to be oppositional and rebellious at some point or any of the prisons blame and shame trap happiness intended for serving Hashem as tzelem elokim, kidnapping them into the service of the ones who intentionally or not made focus on worldly concerns appear to be the source of pleasure. These childish mistaken concepts can remain snaking in our unconscious or subconscious our entire lives awaiting our focus upon them to heal and release a part of our soul that is trapped there.
Many people desire to find styles of giving children unconditional love, so that behavior can be changed while the tzelem elokim is kept connected to absolute truth. That absolute truth is that Hashem is all good. Parents are not perfect and all of us have these experientially internalized externalities that are to a degree holding us back from being able to reflect Hashem’s good into the world.
The image of wealth in a treasure chest filled with gold, silver, diamonds, sapphires and more, closed, thrown into the sea is helpful here. Just as we can relate to the good of what is in that treasure chest even though it is concealed, we can relate to Hashem’s Good even though He is concealed. In the moment when we experience a negative reaction, by opening this channel of love in our heart to Hashem’s Good, we have a basis, a frame of reference, with which we are empowered to really make a difference.
The difference we can make is on the elements as we experience them. We are empowered to have an impact on nature, that is how Hashem designs Adom, to have domain over nature. Thus understanding the elements is helpful if we desire to focus on this important aspect of the existence of mankind, to having an influence on nature, so that our influence can be positive, intentional, with love in our hearts out of awe and gratitude to Hashem.
Water is liquid. Fire is radioactive. Wind is gas. And Earth is solid. Water represents taiva, desires. Water also represents Torah and chesed. Fire represents gaiva, arrogance, anxiety. Fire also represents passion for Torah and for prayer. Wind represents breath, speech. Wind can be flighty and filled with damaging lashon hara. Wind can also combine Hashem’s strengths from the concealed to the revealed worlds. Earth represents solid, grounded existence. Earth can also be laziness, sadness. Earth is what gives form and consistency to our lives.
If someone says something that triggers an internal reaction within, I may see that as coming to me through the element of fire, where the person’s speech contained natural tags of self-referencing and hurtful judgments. Hashem is the one who decided that those firey words come into my ears. He has many ways of delivering to my ears whatever He desires that I hear, for my good. So what does Hashem see as the good in my hearing such firey words?
I am empowered to clean off the fire! Hashem knows that I understand what to do! He wants me to put it through the mikvah in my heart! Hashem, the words are triggering within me an anxiety and a sadness, fire and earth, because of something in my element that You want me to bring from the concealed world to the revealed world rectified. Please help me! Hashem Echad!
Please help me use the fire of the anxiety to burn out false beliefs about where pleasure and happiness come from, because happiness and pleasure are the result of emulating You and reflecting Your love into the world. Please help me see where I can release the Shechina trapped in the galus of blame and shame so that its strength from the concealed world can be used in the revealed world. And please, because this person’s words generated and triggered this avoda, with forgiveness in my heart, please extend this teshuva to benefit this person too, so that the element of fire can be subdued by Torah and chesed. Please send light and blessings that all of klal yisrael should be able to have breakthroughs in our taivas and gaivas so that instead the Shechina trapped in concealment can be revealed through our increased capacity to reflect Your Love and goodness into the world.
Please may I be a stronger and larger vessel able to contain the pleasure You desire for us so that I may reflect it into the world, tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving, casting sins into the sea, giving love and value, living with emunah and bitachon, knowing our surivival is in Your Hands alone.
The place of the world is Hashem, Who is good. Hashem is our dwelling place!
May the bond between tzelem elokim and Hashem prevail in my heart and may this teshuva be a merit to benefit all klal yisrael that we should be the generation meritorious for redemption.