My setup here is fishy
I just had a very troubling discussion with my Rav.
Troubling in that it made me feel that I am trying to force Your hand in my life – and that I may be setting myself up for a downturn by taking on acts of devotion tied to the manifestation of certain things in my life.
He said my set up here is fishy.
That it’s not in accordance with all the Torah he has learned and the sages whose ways he has witnessed.
Now, he did start off the conversation with a bunch of reinforcing complements about my recent growth and how proud he was of me, etc.. But I’m troubled because my Rav said I’m doing something flawed. And my gut response was to be defensive and push him away and to be upset with him and think he is wrong and doesn’t really understand what I’m doing here.
The truth is I know he wants the best for me at least as much as I want it for myself.
But isn’t it OK to focus so intently on something that we are striving for in order to manifest a goal? To search out and edit aspects of our lifestyle which may be blocking an outcome in the name of clearing a path to ignite a desired result. Isn’t that a successful equation?
How do we align spiritually for something we so hope to accomplish in our life?
What about the Kabbalistic principal of building the requisite desire to achieve an objective and through restriction and exertion drawing in the desired light?
I started this daily hitbodidut commitment because I wanted something. So the question is, would I be this focused and consistent and connected even if I knew I wasn’t going to get what I was asking for?
It’s like a misbehaving child when we take away her toy will produce the most sincere sounding apologies, saying anything to get that toy back – but if she knew that she wasn’t getting that toy back she would still be complaining in her room. So her words are not really sincere because they are tied to an outcome which may or may not occur.
So what am I broadcasting to You here? Under these circumstances, Is it really in my best interest to give me what I am praying for? Or will that just cool me off and pull me back further from the yearning and connection I’m experiencing now?
I’m realizing that I need to not be attached to the outcome.
That the highest level, which I am striving for, is to not do things for the reward or even for the world to come but to simply do things because all I want is to connect to You. And just when I reach this level then giving me what I am praying for no longer will harm me.
I have to first let go, do my work and let You do Your work, and if it is Your will, then it will come. And if it is not Your will, so be it.
Serve Hashem for the sake of serving Him because that’s my purpose here. That’s the path to real joy. Serve Hashem without any agenda or fishy deals.
Sure, pray for things, but don’t commingle material demands and expectations with service – it takes the sincerity away. It takes the higher levels of why I’m doing what I’m doing away.
Growth that’s dependent on something is not real growth – only growth that’s in the name of heaven is real growth. Because if what you are depending on doesn’t materialize than what happens to your growth?
Fishy because you put your fate in the hands of a desired outcome – something other than Hashem’s will alone. You can’t force Hashem’s hand. Blessing will come when you are aligned, period. It will come in the form that Hashem chooses. Expectations and entitlements only detract from humility and gratitude.
I can still want and pray for what I want and pray for. But the approach should be checked – it should be kosher – listening to the wisdoms of our guides can seem painful at first. The pain comes from their truth. And the truth burns like fire. Best to singe ourselves now to avoid the fishy fires to come.