But at the moment, things are as ‘calm’ as they ever are in my household (i.e. not very, but more than usual) - so there is nothing specific that I’m agonising over that’s stressing me out like this.
I know this sounds like a weird idea, but God uses environmental factors to create situations where a certain ‘feeling’ or group of feelings becomes prevalent in the ‘outside world’. If you’re not doing regular hitbodedut (personal prayer) than it’s very hard to figure out when your feelings are intrinsic to you, and when you’re actually ‘absorbing’ them more from the outside.
If you saw my post on Why NIBIRUR = More Illness a little while back, you’ll probably already know that I think God is sending a huge amount of ‘crazy’ vibes down to the world at the moment, that is part of the spiritual process of birur, or clarification, humanity has to go through before Moshiach shows up.
It’s no coincidence that more and more people are literally losing it and acting in the most terrible ways at the moment (the recent, heart-wrenching murder in Migdal is one of the more extreme symptoms of this, but by no means the only one.)
The more we clear out our own bad middot, the more we try to face down all the little lies we keep telling ourselves about how we really behave, and act, and think, and treat others, and how much responsibility we really take for our own lives and relationships, and the more we try and connect ourselves to God and His true Tzaddikim, the easier this process is going to be.
But if we’re not willing to do any of those things? Then we’ll either get a bumper prescription of psych meds, AND / OR we’ll go completely bonkers, AND / OR we will spend every spare moment we have surfing the net, watching movies, hanging out on Facebook, shopping, or doing other ‘escapist’ things like running 6 marathons a week or appearing in eight back-to-back theatrical productions.
Yesterday, when I was getting that yucky anxious / antsy / waiting for something / jumpy feeling that comes along with all the external stress and tension currently flooding the world, I suddenly realised that if I was a more ‘normal’ person, I would be watching movies or YouTube back-to-back to try and escape from these very uncomfortable feelings.
But I don’t do that, and that’s not an option, so instead I’m just having to sit here and deal with it all by upping my hitbodedut, going to more graves of holy people and (my secret weapon…) booking a trip to Uman.
If I wasn’t doing all those things, and also not trying to figure out what bad middot I still need to acknowledge and fix, I would be going stark, raving bonkers right now. Even WITH doing all those things, I’m still pretty jumpy and ‘wired’ at the moment. (The one 'upside' of being so antsy is that it makes me clean my house, and with Pesach just two months away, that can only be a good thing.)
Stress is what triggers our bad middot off. God is upping the ‘stress’ in the world so all of us can see what we have to work on, and so that we stop trying to ignore it and run away from it.
It’s so yucky to wake up scared, the way I’m doing at the moment. But I realised, it would be so much worse if I was scared to ‘wake up’ and acknowledge all the stuff I really need to work on in order to be ready for Moshiach.