Let’s take a closer look at that moment where we feel disconnected from Hashem’s love and mercy. We might feel a hole in our stomach. Something goes blank. We don’t understand something.
What happens next?
Almost immediately we feel a judgment and a demonization. It is either toward another or toward ourselves or both, or towards life or towards Hashem. But let’s look even more closely. If I am feeling this hole in my stomach or this separation, what does it mean? I must be perceived by the other person or by Hashem as inadequate. In what am I inadequate? Now we search for our flaws, and we start to consider our shortcomings regarding kina, kavod and taiva, and we associate this inadequacy and the feeling of separation as a result of our flaw and therefore we have the pain of shame. Something is not going the way it should, I have emotional pain, what went wrong?, I must be inadequate, what is my flaw, oh I am no good.
Does that chain of thinking sound familiar?
Where does it come from?
We did something by mistake. We get rebuked. We feel badly. We think about it. We are supposed to make a correction.
That sounds like normal childhood education.
So what goes wrong?
The answer to that is safety and love. Without safety and love, our survival is at stake. The message of our worthiness is connected to our reactive brain rather than being able to remain where it belongs – as a small, beloved creation of Hashem, from a love that cannot be broken, because we are made in Hashem’s image. The feeling of shame is a part of the soul when the soul is aware that it is not Hashem, that there is a Hashem Who is greater than the soul can ever be. It is for this awareness that Hashem gives us free will and the creative power of speech, so that we may, in our microcosmic personal microdot of a universe choose to be tzelem elokim and emulate Hashem and do mitzvahs. We are given a chance and a way to create for ourselves with a G-dlike ability our identity as tzelem elokim by choosing over our natural responses that draw us into disconnection, namely kina kavod and taiva. Hence, Hashem gives us a lifetime and a world where evil is allowed to exist so that we truly have free will.
Let’s replay it now from the top. We feel disconnected from Hashem’s love and mercy. We might feel a hole in our stomach. Something goes blank. We don’t understand something.
Hashem, I am feeling disconnected from Your love and mercy.
I feel unloved, abandoned and unsafe, judged and afraid of having my ego annihilated by demonization of something.
I understand what has happened here. I am caught up in safety and love being provided from the material and physical world and that is not happening right now. I am experiencing lacks in the areas of kina….kavod…taiva….and it feels dangerous.
I am terrified. I feel a set of shaming and upsetting emotions. I feel like lashing out.
But I don’t want to do any of that. My whole system is shaking. Please, I know that at all times You love me and that my safety is in YOUR hands alone. But I am not feeling that love and mercy right now. I feel instead a reaction to something in the material and physical world that is telling me that I am less than something else and it hurts.
I see my opportunity to uplift this pain by emulating You and choosing to remember that I am, in reality, made in Your Image and that this is my chance to choose that over this natural response.
I do want to feel Your love and mercy so that I may respond in a way that reveals love and mercy, so that I emulate You. I choose for my identity to be that of the tzelem elokim that You give me and not from this reactive place of inadequacy and shame because I am a flawed creation who has developed beliefs about the material and physical world about my safety and love which are not entirely true. My safety and love come from You. Please help me.
Please take the positive spiritual creative Divine energy that is animating my distress and use it to heal my flaw and to help me be a strong vessel to reveal Your love and mercy. That is what I want, what I choose.
I know You know my flaws, kina, kavod and taiva. You gave them to me. What do You want me to do with this flaw…to remain with false beliefs about safety and love that generate in me the feeling of shame or to ask You, the Creator, to help me move with all my love and all my soul and all my might to reveal tzelem elokim ?
I know that I cannot move on my own, but it is who I want to be, and I am asking for Your help. Please help me.