13 Sivan 5779 / Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
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All or Nothing    

All or Nothing

We'd love to be happy 24/7, but we're just not there yet. So what! No need to buy into the all-or-nothing concept our evil inclination is trying to fill our heads with…


So many people feel like throwing in the towel after trying so many times to stop doing what they’ve always done or reacting the way they’ve always reacted, only to see their most familiar problems boomerang back at them again and again. Sure, they might ameliorate for a week, a month or even a year, but they know the “change” won’t last and it never does.


This can be an incredibly demoralizing realization, and a further source of anxiety and depression--if we aren't dealing with these issues the Emuna Coaching way. But Emuna Coaching says  there is another way of dealing with anxiety and depression at their root and making them a permanent thing of the past.




Simply by asking: “Who made me feel anxious or depressed right now? G-d did! I tried, and I can't will it away or pray it away. Why is G-d making me feel so down? Because He wants me to learn something from it.”


He wants us to see that we can have anxiety or depression, or some other emotional problem, and we can still live with it, still be happy and still feel safe at the same time. Just because we feel depressed right now about a particular issue or concern, it doesn't have to permeate every aspect of our lives. We can be concerned and worried and also carefree and playful at the same time.


True, it's not the best scenario. Let's be honest and say we'd love to be happy and content 24/7, but we're just not there yet. So what! We don't have to buy into the “all or nothing” concept our evil inclination is filling our heads with. Even if we're still quite depressed, and only a bit happy, that's the best we can do right now, and it's great. We have to love and accept the level we currently have and understand that this is what G-d wants for us now, and it's the very best it could be.  


So you don't have complete emuna yet? So what! All that means is you'll have some anxiety and depression mixed in with your joy and happiness. Don't make yourself more depressed by telling yourself you’re not allowed to be depressed. Depression is also a message from G-d.


Depression doesn't have to be the knock-out punch for everything else in your life. Once you realize that depression doesn't have to be a funeral march, and it doesn't have to kill you, you'll be the happiest, highest-functioning, most optimistic depressed person you ever met. With G-d, there are no rules that restrict you from being very happy while you are still depressed. Don't believe anything that you ever read or heard to the contrary. Remember that we are entering the World of Emuna, where everything is run by G-d, and anything is possible.


The same basic idea applies to anxiety, too. Why are we anxious? Usually because we are faced with a plethora of choices, from what to make for supper, to which person to marry, to where to send our kids to school. Each of those choices leads to a set of consequences--some obvious, some hidden, some positive, and some negative.


As our responsibilities multiply, so do our choices and so does our anxiety--particularly when our bubble bursts, and we make a wrong choice, and we realize just how much of a mess we are making.


People usually deal with anxiety in one of two ways: they switch off, or they become terrible control freaks who try to minimize the unknown and all the risks that come with it. If we're honest, we can see that neither of these options is dealing with the root problem.


What's the root problem? That we don't believe in G-d or, if we do, that we don't really believe that G-d is running the world and that every detail of our lives--including the hard situations we find ourselves in--has been tailor-made by Him and is ultimately all for our very best.


Or to put it another way, the root problem is that we aren't living in the World of Emuna. People with emuna have confidence in the decisions they make. They know that, even if it turns out to be wrong, it's still going to lead them to a good place.



* * *

We invite you to visit Dr. Zev Ballen's popular daily web journal Spiritual Coaching.

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