Emotional detox is so important in this day and age, as we are assaulted by negativity throughout our day. If we allow this negativity to invade our minds, it manifests itself in our realities. According to Rabbi Nachman, a negative experience occurs due to a lack of faith. This is because our actions are belief driven - our beliefs determine the energy which we bring to an action. If I believe my endeavour is going to fail, my actions will make it so! We cannot change our actions without first changing our beliefs.
We must improve our faith in God, and there is a clear connection between faith and prayer. Your faith and your soul are one and the same, so you will feel so much better when you activate faith within yourself. This is especially important today, as there is so much uncertainty in the world which requires you to think greater than you feel. How can we do this? Only through faith! This is exactly where our creator wants us: vulnerable and reliant on Him.
People in today’s society are far too logical for their own good, they want to see proof before they will believe something. Faith requires belief before you see, without faith the blessing will never arrive. Working in substance abuse treatment I see clients all the time who are stuck in their past, believing they are a victim of events which occurred in their lives. As long as you let the past drag you down it will never change, but as soon as you allow your past to drive you to new heights it is transformed. It is up to you to assign a motivational meaning to your past, so you can go from victim to co-creator, open your heart, and have faith. Therapy is a useful tool when it comes to identifying the beliefs and situations you are stuck on, but the only way to move past these issues is through emunah.
Every day is a brand new moment, a completely renewed world in which to manifest your potential. I encounter situations all the time where logic can only take me so far, and once I reach a point where logic cannot help me, I go right into faith. Perfect example of this - how do you choose a wife? Logic cannot provide the answer to this question, as marriage is a journey not a black and white proposition. You must have faith and jump in, learning as you go! This is the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person: the successful man spends more time getting going, the unsuccessful man spends more time thinking. Ask yourself - am I able to let go of rationality, make a decision, and go with it?
Your level of faith determines the amount of oxygen you are getting to your soul. Lack of faith suffocates your soul, blocking Hashem from your life. It is so difficult today to get the heart and the mind to occupy the same space, and a relationship with your creator is key to achieving this. Rabbi Nachman places far more emphasis on the relationship with one’s creator than on the strictures of religion, because without faith people fall away from religion. If you struggle with faith, you are guaranteed to struggle with pain.
Pain is a catalyst for growth, so you should walk through pain rather than run from it. If we are struggling with faith we are apt to resist pain, which turns it to suffering. Suffering without purpose is despair, a horrible condition for anyone to find themselves in. As soon as you recognize that pain is non negotiable in life, you can accept it and grow. In times of pain, you should never question your creator, only your thinking. Ask not “why is my creator placing this pain in my life?” but instead “what am I missing, what am I supposed to learn here?”
Faith also determines one’s ability to recover quickly from a fall. Lacking in faith causes you to take failure personally, leading to a loss of self-esteem and lack of willingness to try again. Stop asking “why me?” and start asking “what’s next?” This is what makes a man resilient. Everything in your life is assigned meaning by you, so if you believe that life is a lesson, then you either win or you learn! If you maintain this perspective on life you will avoid decision fatigue and will soldier on from one challenge to the next.
Be aware of the words you speak throughout the day, as our faith comes from our words. If you speak words of faith, your faith will grow, but if you speak doubt you are inviting exile. A man stuck in his head is exiled from God, as the heart is required to make decisions in life. When there is something wrong in your life that you are emotionally connected to, this is indicating a lack of faith on your part. An emotion is a signal that you need to move - the word itself comes from the latin word for “move”. Treat an emotion as a signal, and do not feed the negative energy behind the emotion.
You need to develop a system to relieve your emotions, and this is done through prayer. Negative energy is like a poison which wells up inside us and then spreads to everything and everyone we encounter. This negative energy leads to anger, which is a form of idol worshipping and cuts you off from your creator. This is why it is so important to establish the routine of morning prayer, as this communication between you and God is the best way to express your emotions and elevate any negative energy rather than suppressing it. You should come away from this prayer feeling like a whole new man, with less stress and a renewed consciousness. There is so much negative energy in the world today that without a system to release it you will certainly accumulate negativity, emotions, and fears.
The Torah says that before parnassa comes to a man he will be tested with anger. This means your emotions could cost you dearly in life if you allow them to get the better of you! What price are you paying for your emotions today? I see so many men miss out on opportunities because they are not properly dealing with their emotions. You must change the meaning you have assigned a situation in order to change your feelings about the situation. This requires awareness, as we cannot change our thoughts if we are not first aware of them.
A settled mind is close to God - your creator does not judge you for your negative thoughts, but he does judge you for how long you stay in those thoughts. Holding on to the failures of our past occurs when we believe things happen to us, not for us. Failures occur so that our vessel may be grown and prepared to receive the blessings of Hashem. If we have emunah, we will not run away from the pain of failure, we will transform it into growth. A fall from faith creates and strengthens false beliefs within us, beliefs which lead to stories and excuses on our part for why we have failed and are not continuing to try. We must maintain our emunah so we avoid these false beliefs and continue to transform our pain to growth.
The best time to build emunah is before the rising of the sun. When we break our sleep and approach life and our creator we are demonstrating our willingness to face things rather than resisting and hiding from life in our sleep. Rabbi Nachman says you should wake like a lion, rising before dawn excited for the brand new day Hashem has prepared for you. Once you establish this mindset as your morning routine, you will maintain your emunah and will have a clear mind, an open heart, and a closeness to your creator so he may shower you with blessings!