Ego or G-d
Tomorrow I am meeting someone important to me and my work. I want to impress this person.
Will I accomplish my goals? What will he think of me? Will I focus on the right things?
Yes, already a disaster. 😵 It’s clear my ego is leading the way.
While of course nervousness can be natural when something is important, it can also be a clue that I am focused on what I want, and not on what Hashem wants of me.
I’ve learned through the years that when I notice where my focus is (i.e. in this case on myself), I can remind myself that it’s really best for everyone, including me, when I focus on doing what G-d wants. Then I ask…” Hashem, What do you want of me? Please make it clear and give me the strength to do it.”
Recognizing I may only receive a tiny sliver of knowing what G-d wants, that’s all I need for this little slice of life called now. Or in this case, tomorrow. 🤗
I often go into doubt that I won’t receive guidance or even more so, I won’t have or receive the strength to put aside my ego. I reassure myself, “Look of course Hashem is going to give you clarity and strength. Why wouldn’t he? I’m asking him to help me do what he WANTS. This is a big win for G-d!” Despite my fears that I will lean into it’s all about me, I make a decision to trust and serve G-d whether I feel it or not.
Yezter hara is a concept in Judaism that basically means man’s negative inclinations to do what’s not right. The thing is, the voice of the yetzer hara can be wildly crafty. It often just seems like the truth. You won’t succeed… You’re selfish… You won’t get what YOU want… the list goes on FOREVER. Yetzer hara brilliantly changes its story to find the loophole. Why this is, I have no idea. I just know when I recognize the lies of this inclination, life is infinitely better.
What I learned this week through my study of *Tanya (essentially a Chassidic set of books on Jewish religious ethics)… is deceptively mind blowing. Its simplicity is deceptive and its application is mind blowing.
When that not so little yetzer hara voice speaks up saying anything from come on, a little gossip won’t hurt – to in tomorrow’s case – you’re going to mess this up!, I say to myself, That’s the yetzer hara. It’s not true. It seems true because the yetzer hara is a master manipulator, the king chameleon that changes its persona seamlessly. But it’s just doing its job as the ego’s rep!”
I can be SURE it’s the yetzer hara when that voice discourages self worth. When I become aware of this, it becomes so much easier to not only turn to Hashem for guidance and strength, but to even FEEL that elusive sense of trust, comfort and clarity.
That’s it for now. I have Hashem’s work to do. Must go to sleep.
If there’s anything interesting to report, I’ll let you know. May you have comfort and relief for any and all of your challenges.
Love, Vivi ©
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The Tanya, written by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), is the central text of Chabad Chassidism. Its stated aim is to show a path to realizing one’s purpose and developing a deeper relationship with G-d.