19 Iyar 5779 / Friday, May 24, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bechukotai
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Don't Blame Yourself    

Don't Blame Yourself

Don't ever blame yourself for anything! Emuna teaches that Hashem arranges things a certain way because that’s the way they need to be, all for the best...


Dear Racheli,


Recently we moved to a different city, and I’m absolutely miserable! I thought I wanted a certain life, and now that I am settling in, I realize that what I had was just fine. We lived in the same place for almost 20 years, and it was run down and small for our family, so I complained a lot about our situation. Looking back, I realize that things weren’t as bad as I had felt them to be, and I think I’ve made a huge mistake! I don’t know what to do!






STOP RIGHT THERE!! I’ll answer you with a personal example.


Three years ago I gave birth to my fifth boy, Natan. By then I had figured I was pretty much a pro at being a mom because I had tons of experience. When he was just 19 days old, he suddenly started crying inconsolably one night. I nursed him, he quieted for a few minutes, and started crying again.


Then, he started pushing his legs forward as if he were straining. I thought he might be constipated, but it didn’t make sense because I was breastfeeding him. The entire night continued this way, and by the morning I was ready to give up. I had no strength left and he wouldn’t stop crying.


We took him to the doctor, who immediately checked his temperature and saw he had a fever. Thankfully, I had brought Tylenol along just in case he would need it, so I gave it to him right away. But here’s where it gets crazy.


The doctor told me I would have to take Natan to the hospital for a full sepsis workup. I was floored. Why would he have sepsis? He said this is protocol and they want to be sure that the high fever is not from an infection.


A sepsis workup is gehinnom for a baby. They draw blood, urine directly from the bladder, and spinal fluid from the back. It’s a nightmare. At least I thought to tell the doctor that I wouldn’t allow them to stick him with any needles until they had numbed the area with lidocaine first.


We had to spend two nights in the hospital. After the first night I had started feeling sick myself, and realized that he had a nasty virus. But, the doctors wouldn’t let me leave until they got the results back. I had to suffer alone, having to take care of him while I was terribly sick with fever and body pain, lying in a hospital room that looked like a 1940’s bomb shelter, listening to someone else’s baby cry in the bed next to us.


The whole experience traumatized me, but there were two things that hurt the most. First, why in the world didn’t I give him Tylenol when I saw nothing else was working? It didn’t even occur to me, maybe because I was so tired and not in a normal state of mind. I don’t know. Second, why didn’t I try to find out if a sepsis workup is really necessary for a baby? Why didn’t I look up how babies get sepsis? Is it that common that every single baby under a month old with a fever needs to go to the hospital to get tortured by needles and IV’s with unnecessary antibiotics?


But I didn’t think of any of these things. I went along with it, even though my nature is to be very skeptical of any mainstream medical treatment. I suffered with tremendous guilt for a very long time.


Of course, I can blame my husband for all this. He certainly could have asked if going to the hospital was really necessary. He could have told me in the middle of the night to give the kid some Tylenol. But what would it help? It won’t change the past. Yes, it would be fun, and I just might do it because blaming him for everything is one of my greatest pleasures in life.


Hila, do you see what I’m getting at? Hashem arranged things a certain way because that’s the way they needed to be. He wanted Natan to go through what he went through, and that meant I had to be blocked from certain thoughts. Why? Only Hashem can answer that.


It’s a normal thing to look back on past decisions and ask ourselves what in the world possessed us to behave this way. But we should know that there is only one reason: Hashem wanted us to make these decisions for our personal soul corrections.


I’ll let you in on a HUGE secret: Hashem controls our brains. He puts thoughts in and takes thoughts out. He does so according to what He knows we need at the time and what will bring about the outcome that’s best for us.


That’s why you should never, ever blame yourself for any bad decision you think you made! Every thought is planted into your head for a reason. Even bad thoughts have a purpose! They can either be there so you can resist them, or they can be there to give you an honest awareness of your spiritual standing.


Rebbe Nachman made this one of his .greatest teachings. He warned against self-persecution because he knew it is only the Evil Inclination messing with us and distracting us from moving forward in life. We all know that beating ourselves up is extremely counterproductive to our growth on all levels. Think about it. Self-persecution completely debilitates us. It makes us stuck in the same place, mentally and maybe even physically. We can run in mental circles for years asking why, and never receiving answers.


Know this: every single thought and action is ultimately an outcome of what Hashem wants for us. We will never understand it completely because our brains are too limited to see the big picture. That’s why we have to believe in the teachings of our Sages.


Emuna helps us accept all of our past decisions and actions, including painful things that happened to us. Every single thing we go through in life is for only one purpose: to help us get closer to Hashem by accomplishing our soul corrections.


Hila, don’t be upset with yourself. You are exactly where Hashem wants you to be. You’ve reached a new stage of growth in your life, and you should be excited about this. Moving is a huge thing, I know. But if you accept that this is what’s best for you, soon you will begin to see that indeed, this is really what’s best for you!





* * *

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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  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  Thank you for this! Perfect timing for recent decisions made that seem like bad decisions. (only subject)
John Schmor10/25/2017 9:38:31 PM
Aliza10/23/2017 4:49:48 AM

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