Although it may sound radical, and although it must be thought about only one step at a time to digest it healthfully, when we are “feeling alive” we are really feeling an experience of Hashem’s power, the gift of life. Yes, we are able to feel because He is giving us a body and a mind. But no, the life is not independent of Him nor do we have any control over its expiration date or the circumstances that He puts in our path of experience.
The body, the circumstances, the world and all of our early attachment issues take place without our will. If we had total control, we would not need health or life insurance. No one would break a bone or be poor.
Have you ever seen a bristly brush used to scrub the inside of a bottle? It has a handle and bristles at the other end so that it can reach down to the bottom of the bottle and scrub out collected milk or juice from where it is caked on or soured on the bottom of the bottle. How else would that place be reached if not for something that could get extended into it?
The world of tohu broke apart and fell into our world, into our subconscious. Hashem gives us real free will, the ability to speak, and emunah to ooze the Shechina, our life force, through the blocks, the coping mechanisms, the thought habits, the defensiveness, the corrupted desires that feel to us as if they are the “real me.” When we realize that by bringing Hashem into the picture, our soul – as it flows into a mitzvah- also picks up the broken shards around which our soul had been clinging with futility and pain. As we will to go above our nature to learn Torah, pray to Hashem, do a chesed, or perform mitzvahs, the channel itself becomes purified through our determined focus to do Hashem’s Will. If we make our will to do Hashem’s Will, what we are doing is providing a landing place in this world, our body doing His Will, that fulfills His vision of having a home in this world.
This world is one hundred percent under Hashem’s control. We do not touch even one second – a second passes before we can even act. He was, He is, and He always will be. Yet He gives us real free will and by willing to go above our nature, we bring something from deep within us into this world that would otherwise remain concealed. He is the One who does it. We will it and move to do the act, but fulfillment is 100 percent His doing.
From this understanding, it is easier to see how our empathetic reactions regarding each other and our heartfelt prayers carry potency that Hashem may use to bring mercy. In the process of praying, by bringing our hearts into the matter, hearts that may have corruptions in them, the force of the feelings we are having – pain, fear, worry – is able to flow from the pain, from the fear, from the worry into the tefilla because we bring Hashem is doing everything and He loves us into the picture. When I am in fear and I know He is doing everything and loves me, it is such a paradox! If I feel despair, generally the first thing that happens is that I do not see Hashem at all!! Thus, going above our natural will IS the movement needed to once again regain our footing in the world of spiritual reality. With awe and love for Hashem, every force within us is ONLY from Hashem and every urge, desire, thought and reaction is in need of having awareness of Hashem brought into it. When we do, everything is able to flow into His Will, with emunah and bitachon.
Feeling alive means feeling Hashem’s presence in everything, of seeing His Hand directing us to usher the fallen sparks to Him through our recognizing Him and our prayers for all forces within us to be utilized for mitzvahs. With all our heart, all our soul and all our might, we wish to be vessels through which His Light shines into this world.
Our consciousness can be the conduit infusing Shechina from where it is concealed in our subconscious nature into this world by doing mitzvahs, acts of chesed, learning Torah and praying. And that effort strengthens and reveals the real us, the eternal us, not the us that has an expiration date of 180 years. Feeling alive for all eternity is a long time. Let us build eternal joy while we are here, before the expiration date, by choosing the true reality over something that might actually be blocking our bringing Hashem into the picture. And in so doing, may we realize that THAT very spark that is blocked, as it comes into the world, is available to be the very light for the healing needed.