One of the important, if not the most important, detail in understanding the design of how Hashem has given us real free will is to understand why we feel so connected to the messages of our body and natural assessments.
Although the yetzer hara is internally felt, it is external to our true inner being. Our true inner being, our tzelem elokim, experiences the simcha of connection to Hashem. However, we do not naturally sense this simcha. Instead, we naturally sense the perceptions of the body. Thus, what flows through us when we are receiving “input” is also connected to nature, specifically the root forces of nature. One of the root forces is wind. Wind is inherent for our speech, whether out loud or to our selves. The yetzer hara has one job. To constantly downgrade us so that we think its thoughts and thereby give it access to draw from our holy soul, feeding the forces of the kelipas, the husks, that hide Hashem’s presence. In our body are stored memories, traumas, misunderstandings, poorly formed constricted thought habits and more. These are part of our nature as well. The yetzer hara uses wind to blow these memories and fears into our hearts and mind, and we re-live the same traumas projected onto our moments over and over again. When we have emunah and bitachon in Hashem, that He is all loving, that He loves us even in this very moment, that there is a warm and gentle nurture flowing to us as our life force, we have real free will to bring that wind into our heart to send out the whispers of the yetzer hara.
With emunah and bitachon, we can blow the storm out to sea and regulate our emotions so that we may respond with caring, nurture, acceptance and understanding.
Have you ever held an inconsolable toddler who fights sleep? Thrashing, crying, resisting…we sing to her, rock her, bundle her up, and let her sob and sob, never breaking our love for her, constantly giving until, she falls asleep in our arms.
This is how we know we can trust our yetzer tov to sing softly and blow truth over the storms of the yetzer hara. When we are connected to Hashem, the yetzer hara is subdued and its whispers that test us re-absorbed into the compassion. When we consistently trust in this, we are bringing this wind, the wind of a gentle loving breeze on a glorious day, into our hearts, to stabilize it and fertilize it within our bodies as our true identity. It is our real beauty.
Why be satisfied with the cheap payoffs the yetzer hara offers, like “tell her off …push back …that is what people who feel good about themselves do” or other independently oriented moves to assert ones boundaries. While there may be times for this, in many instances, something else is what Hashem requires of us in the moment.
Hashem desires our hearts. He is seeking a dwelling place, a home. When we trust in Hashem and feel the simcha of being one with His Compassion, and we know this is our true identity that we are feeling, we want to bring that true identity out. We have real free will. With personal prayer, we turn our hearts to Hashem and notice the conflicting winds and ask Hashem to please increase our yetzer tov because this is what we want in our hearts.
This is a key idea in understanding the design and clinging to the truth of Torah and Hashem’s compassion. We can do it again and again, as needed, for a lifetime. It is a journey. Success is up to Hashem.