Rabbi Aryeh Nivin teaches those in his personal development chaburas that success is not in our hands, but rather only what is in our hands is our effort to cleave to and serve Hashem in the moment. The depths and importance of this teaching are truly elucidating.
Rabbi Mendel Kessin in the second part of his 15 part series on Meditation and the soul explains for a few minutes that no one really knows how our will affects the mind and triggers action! There is no physiological trail to show how the exertion of will triggers the mind and action. That astounding reality explains Rabbi Nivin’s teaching. Whether Hashem awards success to either our corrupted will or our higher yearnings is up to Hashem alone. He alone understands our intentions and sincerity in yearning. It is never about the triggering circumstances, since that is in Hashem’s 100 percent control Our will in every moment is intended to be focused on drawing Hashem’s truth and compassion deeply into our hearts and absorbing the spiritual material that is blocking Hashem from being revealed. Rabbi Kessin explains the profound changes that can happen to a person when we comprehend and rely on a proper understanding of self as consciousness that can will and be responded to by the Creator.
If we could deeply understand and follow through with these ideas, understanding that every person has the potential to will to reveal Hashem in the moment, we would never feel that our natural reactions of self-defense are to be acted upon directly, but instead would realize that our natural fears and angers and disempowerment are to be acted upon inwardly to install Hashem’s compassion and truth into the muscles and veins of our hearts so that He flows through as he intends for us to yearn to do, thus making it possible for Him to be revealed in this world.
Are we ready to exercise the self-control and discipline to simply love Hashem and believe in the Oneness of Hashem? Or are we going to fall on the sword of the illusion that if we are triggered we must fight back as if anything we could accomplish could be done by our own power? Once we see the truth, all we need is more will and Rabbi Shapira teaches us that we can tap into unlimited free will, because we are connected to the real power, Hashem, and therefore can draw as much willpower as we need to absorb the false yet powerful stirrings of the lower soul. We can replace the natural emotions in the hollow of our mortal existence and heart with eternal love, tolerance, and revelation of His mercy in this world, building eternal identity.