My husband came back from yeshiva today, and told me that Rebbe Nachman said that if someone committed themselves to doing an hour a day of personal prayer, that he would open up a path for them to rectify their soul at their root.
Hashem has been very kind to me and my husband. For the last few years - maybe even five years, already - we've both been trying very hard to do an hour of personal prayer a day.
Even the days when I've been so pressured, so stressed, so busy, so tired - I've tried to do it. Even if it meant just sitting there trying to stay awake for an hour. Or walking around with nothing to say. Or lying on my bed, trying to get a whole bunch of fears, or sadness, or worries to budge.
I had one day this year when I 'missed' doing an hour - it was an abnormally crazy, hectic, ridiculous day - and I felt it for days afterwards. Like I'd built up some nasty stains on an otherwise fairly clean slate, that didn't come off for ages.
It's not that I don't sin. I sin a lot. But I realized a while ago that my job is not to try and 'catch' every little thing - even thinking about doing that still paralyses me. My job is to show up for the hour, to do my best to catch whatever I can, big or small, and then to trust in Rebbe Nachman's promise that even that is enough to rectify the whole day, and get me off the hook Upstairs.
The last few months have been very intense, for both me and my husband. Every day is bringing us new revelations, new insights, new bits of information that are completely changing the whole picture of what is really going on.
A little while ago, I told him that whatever was going on, it was bigger than just him and me. Ok, I'm still angry, arrogant, stingy, spiteful, jealous, and selfish - but I'm not an axe-murderer, and neither is he.
The spiritual 'stuff' that has been spewing out over the last few months can't just be from our lifetimes. If it was, I think it would have taken a couple of months to sort out, at the incredible intensity and pace that things have been happening.
In less than 12 months, I've been to Uman twice, and he's been three times. I've done quite a few 6 hours, at various holy places, and so has he. He learns in Rav Arush's yeshiva every single day; he gets 'messages' all the time from his Rav there, Rav Cassouto, and his classmates; he has me in his face 24/7, with all my 'messages' from my personal prayer, or my reading, or even my dreams.
He's getting a lot of Divine help.
And yet, whatever 'it' is that needs to break or budge or move or crack still isn't.
We're stuck. We have no idea what to do next.
I could get miserable about it all. Sometimes, I do get miserable about it all - but not for long. Because whatever crazy 'fixing' process we are in the middle of, however far back it's reaching, I feel G-d is holding my hand throughout it.
I'm walking around with a lot of heartache at the moment. It could very easily have turned me into a terrible wife; a bitter woman; a monstrous mother - but strangely, it's making me kinder, more understanding and more patient.
How can this be?
How can I be hurting so much on the inside, about so many people's pain, and still walking around with a smile on my face, and a willingness to invite people for Shabbat lunch?
It can only be because G-d is helping me through it. It can only be, because Rebbe Nachman is taking a personal interest, and guiding the process from Upstairs. It can only be because when I feel so stuck, or so empty, or so lost, I can go and talk to G-d about it all, and I always finish those conversations feeling calm enough to continue on to the 'next stage', whatever that's going to be.
World, you are really messed up. Do you know that? There are so many hurting and hurtful people walking around. So many pained and paining people. So many of us who can't connect to anything, including ourselves, and who are trying to hide that massive sense of disconnection by being plugged into mobiles and Ipads and laptops 24/7.
Watching people on Skype doesn't solve the problem. Uploading videos of yourself and your family to the internet doesn't solve the problem. Conference calling, emailing, Facebooking - doesn't solve the problem.
These days it's so 'normal' to be so messed up, to feel so miserable, so lonely and so unloved, that most people don't even realize that they could be any other way.
But they can! You can! I can!
We just have to take the massive step of admitting that there might just be a problem. That our lives might just not be as perfect as we like to think they are. That our souls might just be withering away from a lack of real love and attention.
That's a scary prospect, isn't it? If we admit that, we'll be obliged to do something about it - and what, really, can we do? Nothing. Nothing at all. That's why so many of us are pretending 'everything's fine, now please go away.'
But the point, is that it's not for us to fix. It's for G-d to resolve. Our part is just to switch sides, to become part of the solution, and stop being part of the problem. To admit our futility, our frailty, our feelings of being unloved, and unlovable.
Things are in the process of being 'fixed', whether we want it or not; whether we admit it or not. If we're not holding G-d's hand when the 'fixing' process catches up to us - we'll be completely smashed by it.