The journey towards growing in spiritual consciousness is not a straight incline up. Grappling with the challenges of living in the present moment means that we confront a range of thoughts and emotions and experience movement within us. Understanding that movement is crucial. And understanding the importance of bringing Hashem into the picture is essential. Bringing Hashem into the picture when we experience movement is what heals. Yet often, despite our intellectual desire to bring Hashem into the picture, something within our will is not on board.
Achashveros wanted to “celebrate” that the temple was not rebuilt. Mordechai told the Jewish people not to go – it was the ten days of repentance and not appropriate. Many of us were “giving up” on the temple being rebuilt. Many went to enjoy the kosher food and wine.
Imagine if a person were holding onto a piece of driftwood in the ocean, hoping for rescue. After many long scary hours, a ship comes by and sees the person. They throw the person a lifeline. But the person does not want to let go of the driftwood that has been keeping the person alive. So one of the people on the ship, realizing the person must be in a daze from the tribulations, goes into the water and puts the person’s hand onto the rope. But the person does not hold on. The person returns both hands to the driftwood.
So the rescuer tries to grab the person and swim the person nearer to the ship so that a net could be lowered. But the person bites and kicks and cries and the rescuer has no choice but to back off. The person grabs the driftwood for dear life, crying now at the terrible turn of events that almost caused the person to lose the salvation of the driftwood.
The ship remains there. They try to send lifeline after lifeline. The ship waits to rescue the person.
To hold onto Hashem in order to do His Will, we let go of our will. For intellectually acquired goals, this is a choice we make with logic and inspiration.
With heartfelt anxieties, traumas, coping mechanisms and more, we want to let go of our will. Or, we say we want to let go of our will. We want to not want what happens inwardly in the flash of a moment. Yet it happens anyway. We shake. We panic. We hurt. We anger. We over-indulge.
If we could see the lifeline thrown to us, would we grab it? Or would we fight it, with heartfelt tears and complaints that we are injured by the lack of caring! Dramatically, we instantly express our pain – we are not understood, we are not loved, we are being erased, no one cares, we are forgotten, how could you, etc. etc etc.
The lifeline being thrown to us is the Torah. Only Torah redeems us from the grips of inward movement. The inward movement is powered by the Shechina in exile – a condition Hashem agrees to in order to give us real free will.
Our inward movement often feels like it has a life of its own, and we feel a victim of it. That is the perception of our animal soul and the more we listen to it, the more obscured Hashem’s constant love and compassion becomes. Our actions and speech in concert with perceptions add more distance.
With effortful prayer, we describe to Hashem that we want to not want what we are moving toward. We acknowledge the truth, which is that Hashem is concealed within our experience and perception but we know that He is with us in this very moment, despite the darkness. Hold onto that truth. With inner will, want to connect to His Love out of a desire to be a channel for that love to come into the world.
It means letting go of the desires of our self-referencing will. It means telling Hashem that we realize we want something but we truly want to not want it because it is causing us terrible suffering and pain. It means dedicating the light concealed in that self-referencing will to Hashem’s will. It means living with trust despite uncertainty in what the outcome will be. It means asking Hashem to please help us mature our intellect with wisdom and a yearning to grow in spiritual consciousness. It means asking Hashem to please help us flow our emotions and deeds into the world from that place of spiritual consciousness that we are asking Him to grant us.
Each time we make this effort to move towards Hashem by being spiritually conscious of Him in moments of darkness, we are going beyond our nature. Only Hashem can go above nature, but we have real free will to want to go above our natural will. In truth, our will is to do His Will. His Will is that we recognize Him as being the Source Powering the darkness. This means moving ourselves to a place of trust so that we are willing to live with uncertainty regarding the circumstances. We trust we are totally within His loving embrace despite how it feels. Trusting in His Love and feeling love for Hashem and yearning to feel His Love so that we may reveal His Love sincerely is what brings us closer. Something of His Infinity filling and concealed in the darkness is then able to be acquired in our hearts, in this world. This gives us an inner simcha. Hashem is the Giver. Our soul is unified with Him through our effort
But more importantly, we become a channel through which His Compassion comes into the world. When we felt it as darkness, it was concealed light somewhere within us. We experienced it as pain or lack and flew past that point to consider habits and patterns that would just continue with self-defeating, frightened or hurtful actions.
When we make the effort, the Infinity Hashem conceals in our inner world to give us real free will is able to be acquired in our hearts and revealed.
We are here to fix our will. We are here to bring our will FROM reacting to Infinite light concealed in order to give us real free will TO His Will.
Judge others favorably. Do not bear a grudge. And do not enjoy a sense of pleasure from recognizing the errors of others.
On Purim, we are to give charity to anyone who asks, without first assessing deservedness. We instructed to give in this way on Purim because it is a repair to the damage that Haman/Amalek brings upon us.
May the charity we give on Purim be an inoculation for year-round regarding our quickness to judge others or to feel slighted. Could we be less judgmental with each other? Do we have to experience other’s remarks with a painful interpretation? Must we turn the tables and use power to accomplish our goals? Do we really know? Can we live with uncertainty and trust Hashem more?