I recently got an email from someone who made a very good point, that you could sum up like this: yes, there’s work to be done, and things to be fixed, and effort to be made – but what are you supposed to do when you’ve already been to so many shrinks, and therapists, and ‘experts’ and you really just ran out of energy and can’t do it anymore?
This is such a good point, because so many of us are at that point, especially in this age of information overload, and superficial ‘expertise’, that only helps people to address and resolve part of the problem (and that’s if you’re lucky).
I’ve also experienced this myself: When I was told that healthy eating was going to solve all my health issues, I ate healthily, got some benefits – but didn’t solve the whole problem. When I was told that forgiving the people who’d hurt me was the key to happiness and health, I did that, too, and saw the same pattern: some big initial benefit, but it didn’t resolve the whole problem.
Ditto with stretching and exercising; ditto with doing more relaxing, enjoyable things; ditto with upping my level of mitzvah observance.
Now, don’t get me wrong: all of these things WERE extremely beneficial, and I’m very, very happy that I’ve incorporated them all into my life, to the best of my ability and without getting fanatical about it.
BUT – it’s not the whole picture, it’s not the whole story.
In fact, the only thing that’s really come close to solving things, permanently, and across all three levels of body, mind and soul, is talking to God, or what’s called in the Breslev tradition hitbodedut.
(If you want some more background on what that is, how to do it, and how it can help you in so many different ways, click HERE to download a free copy of ‘The How, What and Why of Talking to God’.)
But even talking to God can occasionally fail to deliver the goods, if it’s only about talking to God, and not also about listening to God. Listening to God is when you stay quiet, get a little more humble, and ask God to show you what you need to work on, fix or change. Listening to God is when you learn to start decoding the messages He’s sending us all the time hidden inside our trials and tribulations, about what changes or improvements He’s trying to spark-off inside us.
In hitbodedut, you do both: talking AND listening.
But the point is to get God involved in your life, at whatever stage you find yourself, and at whatever level of spiritual, mental and physical exhaustion, because it’s precisely when you just can’t do it anymore – any of it – that connecting to God can be so powerful.
Even saying just one word at these times:
Connects us straight to the Source, and sets a process in motion that we may not even be aware of for days, weeks, or months to come. But the message was received Upstairs, and help is already on the way.
So my first bit of advice to my correspondent is this:
If you can’t do anything else, just call out to God, in whatever way you can.
We humans like to think that everything comes down to us, and our abilities and our energy and our endurance. And honestly, these things are all important. But they’re not the source of our strength:
And even when we feel (and really are….) completely exhausted, washed-up and finished, God’s strength, and kindness and help endures. He’s like the electricity supply, and even just plugging back in for a second fires up the soul like you wouldn’t believe.
In the next post, BH, I’m going to bring the ‘shortest’ short-cut version of how to start getting things improved and moving again that I know of. But before I post that up, remember one thing:
Really, there are no shortcuts in spirituality.
In some way, in some form, we have to do the work, we have to change, we have to improve, and no-one else can do that work for us. The process never ends for as long as we’re alive, because our potential for growth is infinite.
But sometimes, as my correspondent so rightly pointed out, even though we know all that stuff, we still can’t muster the energy to do it.