In Part 1, we learned how Rav Arush's eight deeper needs correspond to the eight main energy centres of the body, and how we can use seed therapy to ascertain which spiritual area, or deeper need, needs working on. In this post, we're going to focus on deeper need number eight, 'courage'.
"The counsel of the tzaddikim brings one to truth; and when there is truth, one comes to faith; and faith brings the redemption." - 7:1, Likutei Moharan
As we learnt together in the first part of this post, Rav Arush sets out eight deeper needs, which are:
4) Feeling significant / unique (what I usually refer to as 'the good point')
7) Love and relationships; and
The first seven of these deeper needs correspond to the seven main energy centres of the body, and we can use seed therapy to work out what energy centre is out of whack, causing us all sorts of spiritual, emotional and physical issues.
So where's the energy centre for number eight, courage?
Number eight is associated with the kidneys, which (as the diagram at the top shows you) you'll find on the back of the hand, in the Su Jok methodology.
We're 'advised' by our kidneys
Our Sages teach us that kabbalistically, a person is 'advised' by their kidneys. In Brachot 61a (the Gemara), we're taught that 'the kidneys counsel'. In Likutei Moharan 7:1, we're told that: 'the kidneys are organs of the reproductive system, organs of seed. Hence, when one receives counsel from another, it is as if one is receiving his seed, which will be whatever that person is - whether a wicked person or a tzaddik….The counsel of the tzaddik is pure seed of truth."
On top of the kidneys, you'll find two small glands called the 'adrenals'.
The adrenals produce adrenaline, that substance that pumps through our body when we're stressed, scared, or otherwise psyched-up in someway.
When a person is in a constant state of anxiety or worry (even when it's repressed), it sparks off the 'fight or flight or freeze' response in their body. If this happens occasionally, there's no harm done. But when people are permanently 'living on their nerves', sooner or later, their adrenal glands pack up, leading to adrenal exhaustion.
This is a very common phenomenon today, and I'll write about it more another time. With G-d's help, adrenals, like everything else, can be cured and returned to full, healthy functioning.
Fear is the opposite of courage
But for the purposes of this post, we just need to know that the main emotion sparking the adrenals off is fear. Fear is the opposite of courage. So now, we come to the question of question: how does a person boost their courage? How does a person find the strength to make the changes they need to make in their lives, and to take the necessary decisions?
How do they find the courage they need to deal with the issues, people and habits that are literally draining them of their vitality, energy and joy and keeping them stressed out, exhausted and ill?
As we probably all know from our own lives, making changes is not a simple matter. Even something as 'obvious' as switching to healthier eating can have all sorts of social repercussions, and requires a big dose of courage to initiate and maintain.
The answer is, that we will only be able to make these changes if we have a strong connection to our tzaddikim, and if we are following their advice. Courage is not something we can 'grow' ourselves, it's something we get given as a present from G-d.
Once a person knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that G-d requires a particular course of action or lifestyle change, however hard it might be, that knowledge in and of itself gives them the courage to act. But for as long as they have doubts about what's right, or about what G-d really wants, they'll be paralyzed by fear and doubt, and nothing will change.
When we humble ourselves, and listen to the objective advice and wisdom of a tzaddik or rabbi who's much higher on the spiritual ladder than we ourselves are, we get instant clarity. That clarity helps us to recognise 'truth', and once we know the truth about what's really paining us, or hurting us, or making us spiritually and physically sick, we can then take everything back to G-d, and ask Him to help us resolve our problems and to make whatever teshuva we need to make.
Of course, this is not such an easy, fast or straightforward process. But the beginning point for developing courage is to start really learning the teachings of our holy sages, so that we have clarity about what G-d really wants from us, and what we may need to change in ourselves and our lives.
Does the Torah really mandate smoking and drinking schnapps? Or watching movies? Or having 'friends' of the opposite sex? Does it tell us to work 18 hour days? Does it endorse hanging out with 'bad' people, or does it warn us to stay the heck away from them?
The more we look, the more we'll find answers. If we really want to have the courage to pursue truth, G-d will give it to us, as a gift. And then, our lives and our health can begin to change for the better, in every single way.