We all seem to have 'stuff' going on at the moment, don't we?
In my household, all four of us have been ill with various things, all of which have clearly been big wake-up calls from Hashem that whatever bad middot (character traits) we didn't yet clear out and deal with, Hashem isn't going to let them ride any more.
The eye saga you know all about (and there's more insights to come on that front, shortly...)
But I had one kid doubled-over with stomach-aches from her various emotional stress responses to what's been a very challenging month for her.
And another kid who couldn't get out of bed, she was so paralysed by fear and worry of a different sort.
And then, my husband has been so unwell this week, in a whole bunch of ways, that the only time I remember him every being anywhere near this ill was the year he came back from Uman from Rosh Hashana, the year his dad completely unexpectedly died three weeks' later.
With hindsight, my husband had clearly picked something up about what was to come spiritually, and it took him out for a week.
Over on spiritualselfhelp.org, I just wrote something about subliminal stress, and how Hashem plays around with all the ions flooding planet earth via the solar wind to make us feel different things, and to affect the human body and human psyche in different ways - including sometimes, making us all feel completely stressed-out of our skulls.
There is no doubt about it, that Hashem is sending a particularly stressful 'ruach' down to the world at the moment, and it's pressing buttons all over the place, and uncovering a whole bunch of bad middot that we'd really all just like to pretend we don't have.
But guess what?
Acknowledging those bad middot, and asking God to help us get rid of them, is how we're going to get geula the fast, sweet way.
There's one reason why God is slowing up the geula, and hitting us all so hard with all this 'stress' and pressure, in a million different ways, and that's so we knuckle-down and do the work of finally admitting we aren't perfect, we have tons of stuff we need to fix, and we need God in our lives - in a real way - in order to even begin to do it.
One of the key ways that God sends us messages about what we need to work on and fix is via our health.
That's why so many of us are feeling so rotten at the moment.
And the more a person tends to 'ignore' their negative tendencies, or to be disconnected from their true feelings (usually through no fault of their own), the more this 'stuff' builds up inside, and leads to a whole bunch of unpleasant health issues.
To put this another way, bad middot = increased inflammation in the body = illnesses, aches, mucous, coughs, colds, headaches, stomachaches, growths....etc etc etc
It's very natural to run off to the doctor at the first sign of snot, etc, but that's really missing the point and at this stage of the game, is actually pretty unhelpful. Doctors can't or won't make those connections between your health and your soul. They can't tell you: "You have a stomachache because you're worrying about money all the time."
Or, 'You have a headache, because you have a lot of pent up anger and frustration against Hashem that you haven't acknowledge and dealt with.'
But making those connections is the main reason God is sending all this illness and stress down to us in the first place!
So what does God want from us?
Here's what I think:
1) Acknowledge your illness / stress / problem is from God - and not because of 'germs', neighbors, pollution or Donald Trump (even though they may be the agent of delivery).
2) Accept you can't run away from, or solve, the problem until and unless you find the spiritual solution - God sent you the problem for a reason, and He's not going to let up until you get the message. Why not? Because us not dealing with our bad middot is holding back the geula, mamash, and it's time for things to roll, already.
3) Ask God to show you what bad middot, what negative character trait OF YOURS it's connected to - Not because your husband is so stressful, not because your kid is so whiny, not because your boss is so nasty....
Everybody else is wallpaper, in terms of what I'm talking about here. God wants US to work on our character traits. Don't worry about the other guy's problem, just think about:
WHAT DO I NEED TO CHANGE, RECOGNISE, WORK ON OR FIX?
If we all do that, our inner stress WILL start to subside, our illnesses will start to vanish, and best of all, geula will come soon, the sweet way, BH.
- Talk to God and Fix Your Health
- How your emotions are making you sick (a shorter, easier read)