7 Tishrei 5781 / Friday, September 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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The Great Wall    

The Great Wall

In our brain exists a Great Wall, stronger and more fortified than the 13,000-mile-long Great Wall of China. Our Great Wall is much harder to tear down…


These past few years of weight training and dancing have really changed me. For the better, that is. I hope.


I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve discovered strengths that I didn’t know I had, both physical and mental. I’ve seen that I can be motivated to keep pushing myself to improve. My self-confidence has grown, and I feel like I’m in the best emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental space that I’ve ever been.


One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned has come from conversations I’ve had with other women at the gym. They pretty much all go like this: I say, “Why don’t you do a heavier weight? I can see it’s too easy for you.”


That’s right. I can’t keep my big mouth shut.


“But I can’t!” they all tell me, with this look on their faces like, why are you butting in my business and what do you think I am, the Incredible Hulk?


“Okay…” I reluctantly say. Then, as I’m walking away, I turn around and ask, “But can’t you just try? Just a little?”


“Listen, lady, get out of my face, k?”


Ooh, I love it when they get mad at me!


Of course I never ask anyone to do anything that’s way beyond what they’re currently lifting. But I can tell by the careless flinging of the arms and the bored look on their faces that they’re not even close to making any changes in their bodies.


And I feel bad for them because women here have no time, and what they’re doing is just a big waste of time. They would be better off going shoe shopping.


After constantly encountering this frustration over the past two years, while at the same time seeing my own personal progress, I have come to the brilliant conclusion that most of our limitations come from our minds.


In our brain exists a Great Wall, stronger and more fortified than the 13,000-mile-long Great Wall of China. Our Great Wall is much harder to tear down, and you certainly can’t climb over it.


It’s amazing when you think about it. A wall that doesn’t physically exist is stronger and stubborner than a structure so massive, you can see it from outer space.


What’s even more amazing? It’s that this great wall is the secret to our successes and failures.


How many times have you said to yourself, “I really want to (fill in the blank) but I just can’t.”


Do you know where this “can’t” comes from?


It comes from a lack of emuna. It’s from a lack in belief in yourself and in your G-d-given capabilities that you haven’t even begun to explore. It’s from a lack of belief in the vast possibilities Hashem is laying before you.


Life is so open. The life scenarios that we dream about (or don’t dare dream about) are only limited by our lack of motivation. And that lack of motivation is caused by a lack of belief in ourselves and our potential.


What is it that you really want to do? Get a new job? Lose weight? Move? Play an instrument? Pray better? Improve a relationship or two?


The list can go on and on.


So here’s what I want you to do:


Pick one thing and work only on that one thing. Nothing else.


Now, before doing all of your research and due diligence regarding that one thing, whether it’s finding a good nutritionist, starting a new job search, going back to school, etc., there’s something critical that you must do first.


This something will determine if you will be successful or not.


You must say to yourself, “I am now deciding to make a change in my life by committing to (whatever thing you want to change). By doing so, I will put forth my maximum effort and do whatever I need to do in order to (change.)”


Then you add this super important caveat: “I also realize that the results are completely up to You, Hashem, and all I am responsible for is putting forth my maximum effort. Hashem, please help me to be successful in this new endeavor, because You know how scared I am of failing.”




I gave you motivation and relieved you of all responsibility for your results (or lack thereof.)


Seriously, I should have been a lawyer.


And a doctor. And a concert pianist...My mother will never forgive me.



* * *

Feel free to send Racheli your questions, particularly in the areas of marriage, dating, child-rearing and women's role; write her at racheli@breslev.co.il 

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