The thoughts below are guided by the steps laid out here
Anatomy of a perception:
For this purpose, let us take an example of someone in your circle who is consistently hurtful, whether intentionally or not. The goal is to walk our perceptions through to a flow that is healing for everyone. And all through personal prayer!
It takes just a moment of silence from someone we are trying to reach for our imagination to go on fire when we are dealing with an emotional or difficult person. Because of experience with the person, that moment of silence is like a blank page upon which our imagination begins to write its judgments and our heart reacts. Are we all familiar with this? She didn’t respond, i am insulted. He didn’t pick up the phone, he is ignoring me. I didn’t get the job, I am a loser. She doesn’t care, she is selfish.
Let’s slow that down.
The imagination is intelligence. our intelligence is grown out of our experience that our body and psyche have had with that person. Because our body and psyche…aka self-image/ego…are the material from which the intellect grows, the intellect is very connected to the emotions, urges, impulses, instincts and desires of the self-image and body. This is so much so that we actually believe that what our intellect is telling us based on being so sensitive to our self-image/ego is the actual reality and truth. Judgment!
Torah comes to teach us that this level of intellect which is called bina, understanding, is immature until it expands to include awareness of Hashem and His Love for us and His wisdom, the Torah. How does this help?
When we find ourselves in the bitterness of the emotions we feel due to the above types of scenarios, Torah teaches us that the force within that emotion is nothing less than our divine soul, the life force given to us from Hashem. It is bound and gagged and dragged into that bitterness. Absent Torah, emunah and love for Hashem, our soul is trapped in the barrier of the intellect checking back only to the natural body and ego.
The Divine soul knows there is Hashem who is all loving but it is forced to animate this animosity, fear, anger, frustration or sadness unwillingly. It, the Divine soul that gives us life, is part of the surrounding love of Hashem that sustains us. It is prepared to bring resources to help so that the scenario is just a test instead of a permanent block. Yet we must will something for that to happen. There is something that Hashem gives to us to do – to do the making of a better person – so that the satisfaction that we will experience is “earned” and not just given to us without effort.
What is that effort? Is it within reach?
Yes! It is the use of the real free will Hashem gives to us. What does it take to use that real free will? Emunah, faith. How do we build our emunah? Practice. How do we know what emunah, faith, is? We pray and we learn Torah and we emulate Hashem. Torah teaches us to recognize our bitterness as an opportunity to have compassion upon that divine spark animating the bitterness unwillingly.
When we have emunah that there is Hashem and that He loves us, we have a muscle to proceed. When we have bitachon, trust, that our divine soul is an actual part of Hashem that reaches to His Throne of Honor at all times and we rely on that as tangible truth, we understand what Hashem wants from us in that moment when we feel judgment, bitterness, pain, fear, anger – all of which are powered by the divine spark in us bound and gagged and being fed to the darkness by the negative messages we are thinking and feeling.
Trust this – The divine spark that is giving intensity to the feelings within the bitterness contains the healing for the situation! There is No Other Power! That life force is filled with the simple unity of Hashem, connected to His Infinity! He can reach His Compassion into this matter IF WE WILL IT. Shall we leave it bound and gagged and feeding the darkness and bitterness? Or shall we activate, through our emunah muscle, steps in personal prayer to flow it into the world for blessing?
“Hashem I see that my imagination/intellect is checking with my body and that the message that is cycling between them is that this lack is going to cause that pain and I don’t want that to happen of course!
But I recognize that this is intellect checking only with self-image and ego.
I do not want the life force that Hashem gives me to fuel this because it is bitter to me and I have compassion on that divine spark to NOT be lost to the darkness.
I have emunah in Hashem and I totally trust that this divine spark when it flows into the world without the bitterness will reveal Hashem’s compassion.
I am tossing away the circumstances entirely right now in favor of focusing my love upon that divine spark, the life force that is flowing from Hashem. Hashem thank you! I love You. I know that this force is all good and wish for it to return to You.
May this arouse Hashem’s love. May the intellect and self-image that feels the bitterness please be emptied of every thought – list and name them – so that the force within it may instead flow into the surrounding love of Hashem and be absorbed .
May the emptied vessel of my intellect and heart be a worthy vessel through which the pure compassion of that spark may flow into the world. Thank you for this opportunity. I bow everything to You. I love You.
May what flows from this bitterness into the world be a blessing, a merit, a healing, a cancellation of gezeira and a satisfaction of din for the soul as it exists in myself, my family, klal yisrael and all of mankind.”
In order to mean this, we must comprehend that we are divine souls placed in a body and that our true identity is made in the image of Hashem. Not only must we comprehend this from the intellect born from the body, we must expand that intellect through awareness of Hashem and Torah through practice over time of this type of effort. In so doing, we grow more and more into identifying in the moment with our image of Hashem, our true identity for all eternity. We come to see our mortal existence as the opportunity to be placed in contact with darkness so that we may exercise real free will and grow in emunah and bitachon and grow in our level of connection to Hashem in consciousness.
Hashem desires that His creations be satisfied. It is the divine spark within us that is yearning for this satisfaction. It does not receive any satisfaction from physical pleasures of the body, or ego victories.
May we have compassion upon our divine soul more and more and make a free willed choice to be strong vessels that withstand being dragged over the fiery coals that the body and immature intellect experience when it feels its urges and impulses and instincts are being repressed. When we have a tangible sense that Hashem is real, immediate, and doing everything, we more and more naturally cling to Torah and the body comes along because it too realizes that what will replace what it thinks it wants is, in fact, a different but an even greater and eternal simcha. And that the body will experience less bitterness when it is placed into tests – it will get through the test and not be trapped in the barrier of self-image that otherwise leads us to damaging actions or emotions.
And may we soon see a new light in the world as our energy that is triggered becomes a vessel to reveal the image of Hashem’s compassion into the world.