Would you like to be sure that you are making the right decision before you make it? is there something you feel passionate about doing but don't because you can't be sure what the outcome will be?
I haven't see any Gallop polls on these questions, but in more than three decades as a psychotherapist, I've met literally thousands of people who felt stopped from taking action to achieve something that was dear to them.
Because we're living at a time when the cultural blueprint is to want certainty in an uncertain world.
I'll give you an example: A young woman and her husband are in a quandary about making Aliyah. They both have a passion to live in Israel. They have been praying for it for years. Recently they lost their business and suddenly find themselves unable to support the lifestyle they were always accustomed to. Once again their passion for Aliyah has surfaced - this time even stronger. They believe it's from G-d, but feel stuck nevertheless because they can't know for sure what the outcome will be.
The desire for certainty runs deep in us - we've been raised to believe that we must know before we act, or at least to know our decisions have a "statistically significant" chance of being correct. Yet for someone with gnawing doubts even a 99% probability of success may not be enough. They feel haunted by that 1% chance that something "bad" is going to happen to them.
Secular psychologists suggest that the need for certainty and predictability is a deep human need. According to this view, people crave certainty to give them a sense of grounding - a safe haven to calm their existential anxiety.
Is it true that certainty is a deep-seated psychological need? Or has it just become popular to think it is in a culture of "seeing is believing" - a culture that is devoid of Faith?
A person of faith is not bothered by uncertainty. He knows and accepts that he can only find certainty in Faith itself. As Rebbe Nachman so aptly put it: "Faith is the foundation of everything."
Psychology does not differentiate between the mind of one with Faith and one without Faith - this leads to faulty conclusions - for the two brains are not alike. The person of Faith thrives on uncertainty, he craves the mysterious and unknown. For him it is the unknown that stimulates him and gives his life meaning. It is his freedom to choose Faith not "certainty" that fills him with the vitality of drawing ever-closer to his G-d.
The person of Faith operates from an inner blueprint that works because it is in sync with Creation. He meets Divine Providence with a smile. When he goes through hard times, his immunity to uncertainty only grows stronger. He is at peace with reality - with G-d's plan. His secular brothers think he's mad, yet they envy his peace - his even keel and joy.
The only place there's complete certainty is in the upper realms. In the world of the Spirit there is no need for Faith - everything is known and understood well. There are no questions or doubts. G-d is revealed.
Not here - G-d is in hiding. How else can we grow? So we walk in darkness with only our Faith to lead us and each step that we take brings us closer to the Truth. Not with our minds do we find what is real but with the yearning of our hearts to know G-d - to be with Him in thought and deed.
Just cast away your brain and start from where you are. Be true to your values of Faith - it's your authentic nature. When you activate your nature your soul will shine bright. You will light up your way and the way of others. You are so much stronger than you can imagine. Don't be left behind. We are growing in numbers. We are growing very fast. Come take your rightful place with your brothers and sisters with your fathers and mothers once and for all. A bond sealed in blood that will last forever.
May it be come quickly in our days. Amen.
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Dr. Zev Ballen, Psy.D. has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years. He is the founder and developer of Emuna Therapy, a faith-based method of counseling based exclusively on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush. Dr. Zev has the endorsements of Gadolei Yisrael such as the Nikolsburger Rebba, Rabbi Yitzchok Fagelstock, Rabbi Shalom Arush, and Rabbi Lazer Brody. You can see Dr. Zev's live video broadcast every Wednesday at 5pm Israel time here on breslev.co.il. You can write in with questions to Dr. Zev at: email@example.com. You can call him at: 845-362-8600 (US) or 054-840-9499 (Israel). Dr. Zev resides in Jerusalem, with his family, where he learns in Rav Arush’s Kollel and maintains a part-time private practice. You're also welcome to visit Dr. Zev's personal blog, Emuna Therapy.