Friday, November 5, 2010

Overcoming Anxiety

In life we have to cross a very narrow bridge. The most important thing is not to be afraid. [Likutey Moharan II, 48 - Rebbe Nachman of Breslov]

The following is from the letters of Reb Noson of Breslov:

All your downheartedness and depression is just another barrier that has set itself in your path which must be broken.  Above all, you must work to break depression, which is more harmful than anything else.  Gevalt! Do not be afraid, my beloved son! Do not be afraid! G-d really is with you! Remember what our master, teacher and Rebbe said: "G-d is great and we have no comprehension at all of His greatness. G-d stands by each of you, wherever you may have fallen. There is a phenomenon whereby everything turns into good, for His greatness is unfathomable.

I spoke once with someone and asked him "Were you the first person born?" [Job 15:7]  This is what Job's friends asked him in response to his bitter complaint.

Rashi explains their question as "Were you born before Adam, the first man, so that you are in a position to know what has happened to every person in the world?"

Each person can apply this thought to whatever he is going through, be it in connection with his physical needs and livelihood, or with regard to his own personality traits and behaviour.  Were you born before Adam, the first man, that you understand what is behind what every person goes through?

The whole reason a person is placed in this world is to go through all that he must! He must be as strong and as solid as a rock to bear everything in life.  Whatever a person experiences, he must hope and yearn and wait for G-d, and under no circumstances should he despair of G-d's mercy.

2 comments:

Steve said...

see also http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/a-knowing-heart/04.htm on Yaacov's bout with anxiety, Moshe's bout with anxiety and its relationship to Bitachon referencing Bahya's Chovos Levavos (which preceded Maimonides and which he is said to have read with reverence and been influenced by).

Steve said...

Bringing Heaven Down to Earth
By Tzvi Freeman

129. Fear


Captivity begins by believing that you are small and the world is big.

Once you believe that, next you are likely to believe it will step on you, and you fear it.

And then you come to obey it, then to run after it. And then you are it’s slave, thirsting for water for the soul but not even able to remember where to look for it.

To fear the world is to deny the Oneness of its Creator.