This one is having huge issues in their marriage, that one is having huge issues with a kid, this one is having a massive health challenge, that one is heavily in debt, and can’t even put food on the table, some days.
Yesterday, someone told me about an acquaintance who’d nearly died from a bad case of food-poisoning. This person had been dealing with very difficult family members for years, and had been in denial that their family members were actually genuinely mentally-ill (which believe me, changes the whole picture when you finally accept that reality).
They’d gotten so ground down by the ongoing nasty, crazy-making interactions that they’d effectively given up, and didn’t want to be alive anymore. So when the food-poisoning showed up a little while back, the person subconsciously put up the white flag, and succumbed as much as they could.
It’s only when their family members went to two different kabbalists for blessings, and got back the same message: ‘Don’t give up! Want to live again!’ - that this person started to make a miraculous recovery.
I could so relate to that story.
I think you probably can too, right?
All of us have at least one big area, thing, relationship, something that we’re struggling big time with, and have been for years, and yet nothing has changed, and it even feels like it’s going backwards, despite all of our efforts.
Sometimes, the ‘thing’ is our own state of mind, our own bad middot, our own lack of acceptance about the lacks and flaws we see in ourselves. And that can be the hardest struggle of all.
Here’s how God recently brought me through this last really difficult patch in my own life:
- Talk to God EVERY SINGLE DAY about what’s going on, and don’t listen to that small, nasty voice that’s telling you that God isn’t interested in hearing from you, and won’t respond to anything you have to say.
- Listen to anything by Rav Ofer Erez (and the clip illustrating this post is a very good place to get started. It packs a huge amount of chizzuk into nine minutes and it has English subtitles…)
- If you’re down for the count, stay down for a little while - without beating yourself up, without believing you’re going to feel this bad forever, without trying to fight it. God put you down there, so do your best to enjoy it, and keep talking to Him.
- As soon as you get your strength back, GET BACK ON YOUR FEET AND KEEP GOING. Don’t give up! So what, if you’re going to fail again, or you’re not getting anywhere obvious? Life is a process of trying to do things. The outcome isn’t up to us, it’s up to God, but our job is to keep trying.
- Don’t make any big decisions, or act on any knee-jerk reactions while you’re going through all this stuff. Just sit patiently, and wait for the storm to pass. Once the clouds lift, you’ll find it much easier to decide from a good place, and to think straight again.
Again, this clip from Rav Ofer explains WHY we have to go through all this despairing stuff at the moment, and how just enduring it, without falling away from Hashem and Torah, is actually the main spiritual work we have to do right now.
Yes, we’re all feeling SO tired….
Yes, we’re all feeling like we have no idea what direction is ‘up’ in about a million different ways…
Yes, so many of us feel lost and scared (and believe me, the men are getting that vibe REALLY strongly at the moment, but doing the ‘man thing’ of pretending they aren’t, so just spacing out and / or getting really irritable and grumpy instead….)
Geula is coming!
But we aren’t quite there yet.
And in the meantime, our main job is to just carry on talking to God, and to hang on.
So don’t give up, dear reader! Just hunker down, work on your emuna, and wait patiently for us all to be redeemed.