key thing that's weighing down a lot of people's inner joy is our
inflated expectations. The less expectations we have, the better it'll
be for us in every area of our life. Who can be happy living in 300 sqm,
when they expected to be living in double that? Who can be happy with a
B+, when they expected a straight A? Who can be happy earning $100k a
year, when they expected to be making a quarter of a million?
So many of us have
ridiculously high expectations dragging us down all over the place, but
when people have high expectations of their kids, to use a common
'relationships' example, then it's torment for everyone involved. If
your kids aren't living up to your expectations, lower them! Our
expectations of our kids are our problem, and we shouldn't be putting
our problems on our children. They are learning how to be human beings,
and while that process is happening, we need to be shielding them and
defending them from our worries, and from other issues like marital peace or money issues.
These are our
problems, not theirs'. And we'll be able to deal with our problems much
better when we're in a proper, joyful, state of mind. Parents are the
leaders of their families. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking
that 'leading' equates to 'forcing', but that's not what leadership is
really about. We're not talking about a tyrant, or a domestic Saddam
Hussein, we're talking about someone who's inspired, and who has a
vision that they really believe in. A genuine leader has values that
they really believe in, and they are living those values. Regardless of
our age or relationship to them, and when we're around people like that,
it's very inspiring.
Now, let's translate that
definition of leadership into good parenting terms. As a parent, it's
our job to inspire our kids, which means accepting a higher standard of
behavior for ourselves. A parent has to accept the responsibility for
the 'family outcomes', and to accept that the outcome is primarily their
responsibility, not their kids'. Kids are just kids.
Let's take the example of
educating our kids about torah and eternal truths. The 'domestic tyrant
route would be to punish them for every minor infraction of Torah law:
they didn't come to synagogue on time? They're in big trouble! They
didn’t want to pray after the meal? They are going to sit at the table
until they buckle down and do it! Continue here...
When a person following the Emuna Therapy approach says: 'that thought is coming from the Dark Side, it's not a real, holy thought' - they are making that thought completely disappear. Hashem is the only reality here, and He just made that thought disappear. We're not suppressing anything; rather, we just got a whole bunch of Heavenly help, or siyatta dishemaya, to completely take that thought out of our personal picture. It's not buried somewhere deep down, ready to attack us again even harder the next time - it's completely gone.
The other guy who isn't following the Emuna Therapy approach, he's got a problem with "thought suppression", because he's still looking at his thoughts as though they are real, and that he has a real "mental demon" that he has to deal with. Again, if he's trying to deal with that demon without having Hashem in the picture, then after he "suppresses" his thought the demon is going to come back; and he's going to bring his bigger brother with him.
But for us, those mental demons don't exist anymore. They are a mirage. As soon as we tell Hashem that we are true to Him, and that we are loyal to Him, and that we know He is the only reality in our lives, then those negative thoughts simply disappear. We know that they are fake; that they are a...continue here...
Do you want some more great reading? Take a look at these:
This eye-0pening clip shows us in unequivocal terms where we stand in relation to our neighbors and the world at large. Isn't it clear that when Rabbi Shalom Arush tells us that we can't count on anything but our Faith that he knows what he's saying? Let's take time today to decide on one thing in ourselves that we will fix with Hashem's help. In the merit of even your desire to improve in one area of your life, may Hashem grant you that change and lift you above all the other challenges of your life as well! Amen.
I have found everything that I need for a good life in the writings of my beloved Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Arush - may he be blessed with good health and long years.
According to Rabbi Arush, every person regardless of age, gender or ethnic background was created with a deep need for the following:
1. Faith 2. Gratitude 3. Truth 4. Specialness 5. Purpose and Meaning 6. Self-Improvement 7. Love and Relationship 8. Courage.
By learning to recognize and meet these needs in yourself and your loved ones you will be guaranteed the ultimate good and happiness of this world and the next. That's why they are the foundation of our Emuna Coaching programs.
A young baby can't even lift his head, or speak when he's hungry or cold, so instead, he screams and he cries to tell his parents he wants something, or that he's in pain. If you're a two year old, that's an age-appropriate and effective way to get your mom's attention and love. But it doesn't work at 30 or 40 years' old; and it also doesn't work in a civilized world that has conditions. To see the full article click here.
Here are the rest of this week's articles from Breslev Israel:
Peace in the home ranks first in importance when it comes to
serving Hashem. Marital peace is the primary
receptacle of Divine Illumination in the world. The happier the marriage, the
more the couple actually feels Hashem's presence in their midst. Anyone who faithfully follows our guidelines for
marriage is guaranteed to taste the sweetness of true marital bliss.
Carry this prayer by
Rabbi Arush with you and read it whenever you need inspiration. Men or women can use this:
Master of the
Universe, have mercy on my wife/husband, on my children, on me, and on all those who
are dependent on me. Let me understand
that my happiness and success depends on my wife's/husband's happiness, namely, that she/he feels that she's/he's the most important part of my life. Master of the Universe, have mercy on me and
instill in my heart an abundance of love for my wife/husband, a love that is greater
than anything in the world. Have mercy on me so that my heart won't tempt me in
any way whatsoever. Help me to successfully withstand all the trials and tests
that come my way, and that I will always place my wife/husband and her/his needs, aspirations, and desires above everything else. Let me internalize the knowledge that this is
Your desire in Your Divine wisdom. Let my wife/husband feel that she's/he's truly the most
important part of my life.
Here's a Tool-for-change called S.W.A.P that I developed based on the teachings of my Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Arush. You can hear how it not only completely transformed one person but it transformed his marriage too. I'll be speaking about it in tomorrow's (Wednesday's) lecture at 5pm Israel time. Watch for more details soon.
S – Means we STOP ourselves – we interrupt our natural tendency to
view the situation as “bad.” W - Means we WONDER what the positive purpose is that Hashem is
sending us. A - Means we find an ALTERNATIVE way of behaving that also fulfills
Hashem’s purpose but without the dysfunctional symptoms. P - Means that we PRACTICE the new behavior - first mentally and
then in actuality.
There are extreme fundamental differences between a man and a woman. Few people appreciate how extreme these differences are. A man's way of thinking and his emotional functioning is different than a woman's. They see the world in different ways, react differently to situations, and have different priorities and values. Without understanding what make each other tick, they are bound to make big mistakes without even understanding what they are doing wrong.
If people would realize the tremendous difference between the spiritual and mental make-up of men and of women, they would certainly seek a capable person that could teach them how to successfully live together.
Even great rabbis with vast knowledge in different branches of the Torah sometimes don't understand why they should need marital guidance, especially when those giving the guidance may be far less learned than they are in other areas of Torah knowledge.