Do you remember when you were little and did something wrong and your older sibling ran to tell your parents about it? There we are, wrong, betrayed, and subject to punishment. We may or may not have known that we did something wrong, but for sure, looking at it is now far too painful – it triggers our fears of loss of love which means abandonment to a child and fears of being lowered in the eyes of those we love which means annihilation to a child.
Thus the area in which we made a mistake in need of correction becomes covered over with a thick layer of pain that triggers our defense mechanisms . We want to be loved and valued therefore we can’t admit to what we did because of what it means in the eyes of those we would be shamed before. So how can we ever do the simple work of self-improvement?
Now take a look at the same scene, where we do something wrong and we beg our older sibling to not tell. PLEASE don’t tell on me. We know we did something wrong, but we are begging and relying on their love for us to not tell. They agree and boy do we feel loved and valued!! Our relationship just got stronger!! But now what? Do I try to improve myself? The parents are the ones who could have guided me to correction. I may have bonded with my siblings in a silent pact, but I still have the faults!!
Third scene is the same as the second, only the older sibling has power over us and says they won’t tell but we have to do their bidding for them for a week. Humiliation!!! We are subjugated to them. It is blackmail!!
Ultimately the work must be done. How do we avoid the shame and blame and humiliation as well as the trap of denial?
All of what is stirred up within us when we are in a challenge, no matter how negative and all-encompassing it feels, can be viewed from the perspective of consciousness as self-awareness based in entitlements, basic human nature that feels like all of me. Consciousness that we are made in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy and understanding the soul has the power of emunah, faith in Hashem as well as the power of ratzon, free will to choose our identity, puts us in a position to do rectification. And THAT is the purpose for which each one of us is alive, to provide through the effort we make with consciousness in refolding all our heart, soul and might into serving Hashem, a rectification for the four basic types of elements water fire wind and earth.
When we feel humiliated and instead of subjugating ourselves to the one exerting power, with love in our heart and awe for how Hashem has created the world, we can choose to wean ourselves back to being made in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy for the purpose of rectifying the foundations of the world water, desire, fire, passions, wind, speech and earth, solid existence and humility. Let’s be conscious that the effort to do so fulfills Hashem’s purpose in creation, which is for Nishmas Am Yisrael to lead His 13 attributes of mercy into time and space through the vessel of our bodies and neurocircuitry. We can take the strength that comes constricted to us and with emunah and free will and prayer, lead into that very strength Torah principles and Hashem’s characteristics to override the influences native intellect is drawn down by. Instead, we can be conscious beings choosing to live as souls in time and space utilizing the subservient body in the service of Hashem.
Humiliation hurts exponentially more if we identify ourselves with native intellect messages of self-awareness and feel we have to overpower the one subjugating us. Instead, see that whomever might be trying to exert power over us is doing so because of their own fears of abandonment and annihilation, which they may long ago have given up overcoming, accepting that pit in their stomach and seeking nurture and esteem based on subjugating others. They are made in the image of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy but they are blind to it and internal pain stands as an obstacle to the work of free will and prayer that could help bring the wells of their inner world more to the surface in a healing way. Thus when we are humiliated, we have the opportunity to keep the 9th commandment do not bear false witness about ourselves as well as the opportunity to pray for the foundational elements that cover over our souls to be cleaned off, so that we can all have the breakthroughs we need to reflect more and more of Hashem’s 13 attributes of mercy into the world.
In the end, the entire matter of native intellect and the traps we fall into and the traps others set for us because of the trap they may find themselves in IS the human experience in time and space UNLESS we have Torah and awareness that we are made in the image of Hashem. It is then that we can see how the constriction can be used to do the fixing each person has the powers to do. With emunah and raton, faith and will, we attest to our love of Hashem and awe in how He has created a world, given us free will, and a leading roll in determining how He will maintain the world.
May we feel empowered by the 9th commandment do not bear false withness to grow in spiritual connection with Hashem, bringing forth into the world His attributes, which unifies all the powers. May these efforts, like Shabbos, bring holiness to the world and produce light and redemption.