A possible explanation why we fall into the temptations of the yetzer hara

The only Being that gets everything He Wills is Hashem.  When Hashem Wills something, it appears and is all good and all loving and all just.

 

When people want something, we may or may not receive it.  When we do not, we feel very frustrated.

 

Because we do not naturally experience the delight of Hashem’s constant presence, there is an opening for unconscious mind to latch on to the constant whispers of the yetzer hara…you are unlovable, you are of no value.  Why these two whispers?  The yetzer hara has a grain of truth to springboard our imagination.  Those grains of truth are that we no longer are in Gan Eden where Hashem’s total lovingkindness is apparent. That consciousness of His Love and Mercy is not naturally part of our consciousness.  Thus, it is true that we feel a lack of that awareness, a lack of His Loving Presence in our lives and heart.   The second grain of truth is that only Hashem can be as compassionate and powerful as He.  We are not able to provide for all who we wish to provide for, and, as we said, when we will something it does not simply appear.

Hashem says let there be light and there is light.  Hashem says let there be a firmament and there is a firmament.  Etc.  His Value and Kavod are eternal…His Kindness is for eternity..ki liolam hasdo.  Thus, the grain of truth from which the yetzer hara can test us is on these two true lackings, which exist in our unconscious but which, by building emunah and bitachon, we can restore to consciousness as love and awe of Hashem.

 

When we build this consciousness, this G-dconsciousness, we repair something in the world through overcoming our human nature AND, as a result, our effort connects our soul to Hashem for all eternity with the joy of having remembered while alive that He is All Loving and All Powerful and that we are here as His Creations to use our lifetime to form eternal life.

 

Otherwise left to natural thinking and imagination that builds on the whispers of the yetzer hara, our survival instincts get triggered.  We have a stress reaction when what we want is frustrated and we hear the yetzer hara whispering that we are unloved or unvalued, we feel aggressive.  We want to say or do hurtful things to “defend” ourselves.

 

This is human nature.  It is the way we are born.  It is the way we have real free will.

 

As parents and grandparents, we see how children immediately want what another child has, the exact same thing at the exact same time.  The job of good parents is to help children regulate their frustrations with sharing and to be able to restore their bodies to a stress free level.    One way to teach children this is to set the limits yet help them understand their frustration is normal and that we said no but we also want their bodies to feel better.  We can offer to play a tug of war or tag or take them outside, or sing, and then check with them to see if their bodies feel happy again.  In this way, we can teach the limit, which surely generates frustration, accept their reaction with understanding and help them move the natural stress reaction of frustration through their body so that they feel better.  Such teaching for a child helps them to manage their frustrations and stresses for life without believing that they are unloved or unvalued.

 

So what about those of us who did not receive such unconditional love, meaning that our feelings were handled with judgment, ridicule, shame or blame rather than with acceptance that would have helped us learn to regulate our behavior on our own because we would have felt truly loved and understood?

 

The good news is, it is not too late.  The brain is amazing.  We can teach this to ourselves through visualizations, hisbodidus, crying out to Hashem. Hashem is waiting for us to tell Him how we feel.  He does love our feeling unconditionally and wants to accept our feelings, knowing that is the path we need to go to then regulate our behavior to Torah and His 13 Attributes of Mercy. The main thing is to accept that we have egos that are hooked into the whispers of the yetzer hara and that when we spot the root as feeling a lack of love or lack of value, the yetzer hara’s fingerprint has been exposed. THIS is the investigation we need to pursue in hisbodidus…what is the thought chain that is rooted in feeling a lack of love or value.

 

We know the grain of truth, but from the pits of that feeling of natural despair which is the trademark goal of the yetzer hara, we can now push forward to the truth, which is that we are a small beloved creation of Hashem and really nothing of substance other than our consciousness to realize that He and His Love are with us and that we just want Him in our hearts and revealed in the world.  We want to do His Will and reveal Him.  Why?  He is One.  He is all there really is, in many different forms.  We want our heart to be a mishkan that holds Hashem.  We want our heart to be a vessel that comprehends the spiritual work our lifetime is for.

 

What is keeping us from really feeling that all we want is Hashem?

 

Those are the obstacles that need investigation.

 

May we work in Adar to find a way to turn those obstacles around and be joyful in saying we just want You Hashem!  Hashem Echad!

 

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