When we speak about love me, love me not, or respect me, respect me not, the two basic cravings of our natural identity, the ego, that gives us real free will, it is fundamental to remember:
- Love is only possible because Hashem creates love. His Love, which is the root of kindness, is the Source of love. There is no other way that we would be able to love or feel love if Hashem did not emanate the sefira of chesed, the characteristic of kindness, whose root is love. Love fills all the world at all times. It is Hashem’s basic trait, compassion.
- The only Being that has any value is Hashem because He is the only Being that is actually alive, despite the lifetime that He makes possible for us. We are having an experience of life because Hashem, Who is alive, breathes into a body a breath made in His Image capable while in a body of experiencing the perceptions and existence in time and space we know as our lifespan. Hashem lives for all eternity. After we no longer have a body, how will we experience eternal life? To the degree we choose to be connected during our lifetime to Hashem, that is the degree of love we build for all eternity. Hashem has value. When we recognize that the values we are drawn to because of the imagery of the impure forces designed to give us free will are NOT going to connect us to Hashem’s love and value, that is our true struggle point. We need the emunah, the power of the soul, to help us move our hearts to love Hashem and reveal His Value in our speech and deeds OVER the natural impulses that keep us believing in somehow attaining happiness from acquiring or stopping something in time and space.
Love fills everything. Hashem fills everything with His Compassion. That includes each one of us, even if we don’t experience that love. The feeling of love is not needed to have the emunah that it takes to know it is all love. We are His Creation and therefore by definition, love fills us. Saying thank you to Hashem for the apparent bad as well as the good acknowledges that we have the emunah to understand His Love fills everything and how the forces of corruption give us imagery to drag us from clinging to love and value from Hashem to its imagery of where love and value come from – the wanderings of our hearts and eyes. The more we understand our tendencies towards false beliefs, the easier the path back to connection to true love and value. That effort is the struggle. And for that effort, regardless of the outcome, we build eternal identity.
The movement of our lips crying out to Hashem that we thank Him and know it is good even though we don’t feel it acknowledges that Hashem fills all the world with His Lovingkindness, including us and whatever pain we are in or drawn towards, and that we choose instead to be part of that stream of love. It is, after all, love that we are needing for our survival. Let’s go to the Source of Love! And by so doing, we have also attached our inner world to the only Being with value, pleading that our lifetime be for reflecting His value into the world. That, then, is the best self-esteem a person can attain, to be a reflection of the only Being that has any value. We have brought the love animating the opposing forces back in line with connection and clinging to the Source of love, thereby elevating all the raw material of our nature.
When we experience the inner calm that this effort produces, we understand.
May each of us grow in our emunah and elevate the forces of our nature in so doing.