I ate a lot of junk-food while my wife was away this week. In fact, I felt like I was trying to squash my feelings with it. It’s sort-of like I was trying to fill some void with all the candy and processed foods, but it wasn’t working at all. It actually made the void bigger, leaving me feeling self-destructive and farther away from a healthy state of body and soul. I know about myself that when I’m unable to act with restrain, it leaves me feeling helpless and pitiful. I hate that feeling and the self-loathing makes it that much worse. It’s a vicious cycle that addicts are all too familiar with.
There is a silver lining here though.
One thing that really helped me break out of this funk a few times was trying to be simple. Without even noticing, I find that I contrive such high – and many times unreasonable – expectations of myself; expectations of only positive thoughts and expectations of productivity. The task-master in me doesn’t allow failure or laziness. But I realized it’s all a bunch of חכמות, (sophistication) and it helps me sometimes to let go of all these complicated assumptions and conjectures, and to just put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I need to put down the scorecard and just live in the moment.
I had another comforting thought too, which also deepens this concept a bit: Hashem is perfect; Really perfectly perfect. I don’t need to be perfect and I shouldn’t expect to be perfect either. I need to just let Him be perfect and let Him figure it out. Serious meditation and prayer with a mantra like this is so very soothing.
טוב מאד להשליך עצמו על השם יתברך ולסמוך עליו. ודרכי, כשבא היום, אני מוסר כל התנועות שלי ושל בני והתלויים בי על השם יתברך, שיהיה הכל כרצונו יתברך, וזה טוב מאד. גם אזי אין צריך לדאוג ולחשוב כלל אם מתנהג כראוי אם לאו, מאחר שסומך עליו יתברך. ואם הוא יתברך רוצה בענין אחר הוא מרוצה להתנהג בענין אחר כרצונו יתברך.
“It’s very comforting to throw yourself on Hashem and rely on Him. Rebbe Nachman, himself, would give over all his activities to Hashem, so everything can be done how Hashem wants it. Then, there’s no need to worry or think if you’re doing the right thing or not, because you’re relying on Him to do it. And if He wants it another way, let Him do it that way.”
This idea always seemed somewhat esoteric to me, but now I think it’s just plain simplicity. When we conjure up all these ideas, it’s draining and counterproductive. I rather let go and let Hashem be perfect. I’ll just do what I need to do right now. Period.