You can heal most relationships, in one way or another. Join me for this discussion with Vera Kessler. Listen to the Podcast or Watch the Video, below:
Feature photo: Bug River, Breslov Ukraine, July 12, 2022, Valid Melnik
Know! a person must travel to the Tzaddik in search of what she’s lost. For prior to a person coming out into the air of this world, she is taught and shown all that she needs to do, work at, and achieve in this world. But as soon as she comes out into the air of the world, she immediately forgets it, as our Sages teach. —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (LM 188)
We were all sitting in the airport in Kiev, except for two travelers. They were still in baggage claim, hoping their missing suitcases would appear. But the suitcases didn’t appear.
I had spoken to both these women at length before the trip. I knew that traveling to the Tzaddik was no ordinary adventure for either of them. I prayed that nothing would go awry. And now this.
More often than not, though, we experience conflict in at least some of our relationships. Whether it’s a workmate or friend, a parent or spouse, a child or neighbor, a teacher or even a repairman, navigating the ups and downs of relationships can be a challenge.
Which is why I’m so happy that Rebbe Nachman of Breslov gives us the tools we need to have better relationships. The Rebbe’s wisdom helps us repair and enrich our relationships with others, ourselves, and of course, God. It is possible to reframe and reshape how we view ourselves and others, banish negative judgment, and invite joy.
Let everyone talk to their friends about the awe of Heaven, until together we become merged in unity, love, sisterhood and friendship…we’ll all receive from one another and inspire each other in our spiritual service…—*Likutey Tefillos, prayer 34, Reb Nosson
You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes. —Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)
While it’s true that Rebbe Nachman of Breslov emphasized hisbodedus, prayerful meditation, during which we reflect deeply on our lives and speak to God in solitude, he also encouraged friendship and solidarity. The Rebbe didn’t live in complete seclusion and he didn’t want us to, either.
Seclusion may take many forms. It might be
A Special Purim Post
Talking in a derogatory way about other people reinforces the power of fantasy and illusion within us. When people use bad language and speak derogatorily about others, their da’as (knowledge), is taken from them and they fall into animalistic cravings and desires. —The Advice Book, Speech (9)
Our imagination is an incredible force—it can build bridges or pitch battles, birth wonders or carnage.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches that bad speech, especially negative talk about others (even if true), stimulates the negative energies of our imagination and robs us of our intelligence. The Rebbe reminds us that “…someone who speaks loshon hara is a fool.” (Proverbs 10:18)
So why do we do it?
“Their love also doesn’t amount to anything”, that is, the love and friendship which exist among…the common mass of people. Theirs is not true love. Each one is only concerned with his own interests. Any expressions of love and friendship are purely a matter of show, in order to make a good impression, for ulterior motives.
In actual fact, everyone is jealous of everyone else.
—Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Tzaddik, 471
The Rebbe goes on to tell us other uncomfortable truths about our standards of love, friendship, and jealousy.