I can speak only for myself obviously, and that is what I am doing here.
Nothing I write in this post is about anyone other than me. I say this because what I am about to say might otherwise cause self-recrimination and hurtful self-talk, chas v’shalom. Thus, I must assume that it is I alone who suffer from this addiction to wanting to feel that I am good because I am smart and I know and I am right. As I reflect on how these associations develop, I remember how it felt to get good grades. And, the inverse. One time I had an 87 average in English in 7th grade and the teacher sent home a failure notice!!!! Her position was that I should have a 97 average. I did not miss honor roll or high honor roll after that. So you see, I am confessing that I developed a sense of being “good” from being smart and/or right.
How deeply does this sense go?
What I am beginning to understand is that the reason her failure notice “worked” is precisely because the nefesh behema “feels itself” in a positive way when we feel “rewarded.” I developed an esteem based on the frequency and availability of this “I am good, right and smart” feedback. And what happens when I do not have such feedback available?
This is where the amount of abuse or neglect experienced in my natural development can exert itself. All those negative messages light proof the inherent goodness of the nefesh elokis – you are no good, you blew it, why did you have to, what is the matter with you, you are shameful, no wonder no one wants to be with you. These messages are designed to “correct” me so that I may once again find that flow of messages from the outside world that tells me “I am good, right and smart” – and LOVABLE.
Lovable. That is the word that tells me that my innocent nefesh elokis became trapped in light proof messages. Torah tells us that Hashem loves us at all times. There is a part of my soul that at every moment is in touch with Hashem’s love shining upon me. The light proof messages say – “if you don’t listen to me, how will you know right from wrong?” I now have learned to answer it “Torah , mitzvahs and compassion show me true morality and give me conscience.”
I am always loved by Hashem, regardless of how many aveiras I intentionally or unintentionally do. Nothing damages the nefesh elokis that He has designed and through which I have a unique mission and life. The light proof messages I have covering it over are NOT the essential self but rather the results of being human and the natural resource filled with kedusha that Hashem gives to my nefesh elokis to re-absorb into His Compassion. I see and confess my aveiras. I do teshuva and make a resolve for the future. I have real free will.
Even when I feel that I have a breakthrough, the first thought is “I am right!” How do I redeem the kedusha from THAT thought,which otherwise would drag all the kedusha back into light proof messages?
“By myself, I would just enjoy the pleasure of being right from the perspective of my animal soul. But I want to not want that pleasure as what motivates me. I want to want the pleasure of re-garmenting the kedusha into speech and deeds that reveal Your compassion. I want Torah, mitzvahs and compassion to dominate my heart.”
And then come the tests! Insults! Push downs! Accusations and blame! How do I not defend myself? Practically every teaching since the 1960’s has been in assertiveness training and giving a retort to protect the boundaries of the ego from harm! And not only that, the proliferation of success in such tactics speaks to my animal soul! The zeitgeist of today is to retort and not “take” anything hurtful!
RUN to hisbodidus. All of that kedusha is there for only one reason, for me to be the channel for the kedusha in those light proof messages to flow back to Hashem! UNDERSTAND the four elements and that Hashem is asking us to do His Will and be the “kidney” to clean off this kedusha! It may well involve my ego and my personal existence but it is not personal!!! I am not bad! It does not mean I am not good! I do not have to fall into despair, from which the yetzer hara has a foothold to begin a tornado of thinking between despair and ego/gaiva. This other did NOT get away with anything! It is from Hashem, an encounter with Elokim.
It is a spiritual opportunity. It is called being human. It is called having real free will to immediately have compassion upon the Shechina in exile so that it does not have to experience such pain. As soon as I choose to go to compassion on the kedusha itself, I am once again unified with Hashem’s compassion and light, and I have broken out of the storm of despair and gaiva through which the projections of the Soton otherwise wreak havoc on my emotions. hashem is right here, right now. My sin of being drawn to feeling the animal is before me always.
The foundations of the world are solid, liquid, gas or radioactive, earth water, wind and fire. What I am experiencing are unrectified elements within the middos from chesed to hod that are mixing together within foundation, yesod. To properly rectify it, I raise my eyes above will, above the place of understanding to the will of the nefesh elokis that at all times is basking in Hashem’s love with no doubts, no worries, total confidence in His Love and in that He is doing everything. Dovid HaMelech says “I am a worm.”
At that moment, I am having an experience of Elokim, Hashem concealed, presented to the repairing nefesh elokis that He designs to extract His compassion from a concealed to a revealed expression. What is keeping that flow from happening is…..MY DESIRE TO FEEL THAT I AM GOOD AND LOVABLE in the eyes of the external world, the place of circumstances that is causing this tornado of thinking building up between despair and arrogance within me.
But I am right! EGO.
That is the “reward” offered by the yetzer hara to keep me “feeding” the darkness with my thinking. In front of me is a huge block of energy, blocking my path towards the light with “this time you have to listen and stand up for yourself, it is enough. when will you learn?”
Taking a breath. Kedusha. Light proof. I want to not want these messages. I will to bring this kedusha to You Hashem. I will to re-garment it with love, acceptance, shalom, and mitzvahs. But by myself, I am stuck behind this block. I sincerely know that I am a clump of dirt and that You are doing everything. Please may my sincere will to be the channel for this kedusha to flow to You be acceptable.”
A deep exhale.
A feeling of light.
Until the next time.