Does it sometimes feel like you’re barely hanging on and all you can do is worry?
You already know that worry, anxiety, and fear aren’t good for your physical health. But the spiritual side-effects are equally pervasive and even more damaging. According to the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, these side-effects negatively impact every aspect of your psycho-spiritual self.
Why is it important to articulate and examine what fear, and its cousins, anxiety and worry, do to us spiritually?
Because fear can creep into virtually all our thoughts and feelings. Once we truly understand the pain it causes and the quicksand it pushes us into, we are more likely to find the motivation we need to get rid of it.
No one does this sifting, clarifying, and analyzing better than Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
Rebbe Nachman was light-years beyond of today’s psychological experts in his depth and breadth of knowledge about the psyche. Today the experts kindasorta know that fear, worry and anxiety might possibly be related to anger, depression, and other painful feelings. But, they don’t have the wisdom or the emunah, to give us lasting, soul-elevating answers rooted in Truth.
Rebbe Nachman clearly shows us that fear leads us to think, say, and do things that lead to even more negativity. He shows how fear and worry also lead to us feel bad, really bad, about ourselves.
We’re doing a free course at BreslovCampus called The Freedom from Fear Makeover which explores this topic. I bet you’re thinking: What a FUN topic–not. I don’t blame you. Most people feel the same. Shortly after the first class someone who agrees with you sent an email:
This talk was not easy for me. I wanted to turn off [my computer] and never return. I almost did it. The words in the Aleph-Bet Book were making me angry.
I surprised myself however and stuck with it. I won’t say it was a laugh riot but I am glad I made it through the first class and I will be back for more. I decided that I can’tand won’t go on living my life feeling worried, anxious, afraid and scared.
Everything you told us that Rav Nachman said about fear was so true for me. I never before thought of all the side effects my fears and worries were having on me.
For me the biggest problem is worrying. My worrying has made me more fearful. My fear has made me worry more. It is a vicious cycle.
When you said “Worry doesn’t contribute to being prepared,” it was like a wake up call. I even wrote these words down and taped it to my fridge.
Like some of the other students I feel that if I don’t worry I am not doing my “job” somehow. If I worry then I feel I am “taking care of things.” This has to change.
I am looking forward to getting rid of my worrying which comes from”pachad” and gaining peace of mind which comes from awe and “yira.”
How do you stop worrying about everything? Here’s the short answer: Fear of everything will vanish when you believe in and fear only Hashem.
Turn to Hashem. Remind yourself that there is nothing but Him. Tell Him your worries, ask for His help. Share your desire to rid yourself of fear and worry. Share your yearning to elevate and rectify your fear. Talk to Him.
Sure, He already knows what’s on your mind, but saying it aloud will help YOU concretize it. You need this hisbodedus (talking to Hashem in your own words.) Hashem doesn’t need it. He wants you to do it for YOUR sake.
B”H, over the next 7 weeks, we’ll be talking about the different types of fear, how to elevate your fears, the incredible power of judgment, techniques that will help you embrace Hashem and leave fear behind, healthy fear, building fear-free relationships, living life free of worry and dread, and more.
If you want to go through the process along with some wonderful women, you can access the free class at 8 pm Monday nights (or watch the class archives which should be posted soon.)
Photo: Arturo de Frias Marques
I’m definitely interested in this. My emunah and my bitachon are pathetic. I was even considering Buddhist thought for a while. I worry about *everything*! I’m in the UK so I’ll be accessing the archives when they’re available, but I need this so very much. Hashgocho protis!
Your emunah and bitachon might just need a little oomph. Rebbe Nachman teaches us that whatever we need, whether it be material or spiritual, we should talk to Hashem about it and ask Him for it. If you want inspirational words to use as a kind of “jumping off” point for hisbodedus, then try Likutey Tefillos (a Hebrew-English version is published by BRI under the title, The 50th Gate.) There are dozens of prayers that include emunah and bitachon.
Here is one of my favorite stories about this topic:
Keep in touch,