So there I was, polishing up the latest infographic that I’m doing for the ‘Deeper Needs’ series over on the spiritualselfhelp website, when it suddenly struck me that God was showing ME what I needed to work on at the moment.
The past two weeks, I’ve been happily posting away about how there are 8 deeper needs, and how the first one is emuna, and that if that first one is out or weak, all these other problems and issues start to show up in your life.
A couple of days’ ago, I was pulling all the info together into the snazzy infographic you’ll find to the left, when it suddenly struck me that I currently have most of the problems I’m describing. Feeling spaced-out? You betcha. Feeling a whole bunch of negative emotions bubbling-up and overwhelming you? Absolutely! Experiencing a bunch of weird physical symptoms related to extreme tiredness, fatigue and other strange things? Yup!
The penny suddenly dropped, and I realized that my emuna is pretty low at the moment.
I’d like to blame it all on the ‘matzav’, and it’s certainly the straw that’s broken the camel’s back, but it’s not the whole picture.
I had a series of shocks over the last 2 years that really took the legs out from under me, spiritually, and I never really bounced back. All the ‘matzav’ has done is show me the huge emuna deficit that had been steadily accruing since I lost my house, status, and naïve belief in things always turning out ‘for the good’.
Part of me does believe that still, but it’s not a very big part of me (42%, to be precise. If you want to know how I got to that figure, keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Deeper Needs Visualisation Exercise’ that I’m going to share this week over on spiritualselfhelp.org.)
42% is not nothing, but it’s not really going to cut the mustard, especially if things really are heading towards more craziness and then geula.
I realized that God was giving me a clear nudge to work on my emuna, pronto.
Ahh, the question of questions.
In my hitbodedut sessions, I got the following insights:
- My job is to ask God to give me emuna as often as possible
- But that’s still not really enough (believe me, I’ve been doing that for months already…)
- So I need some outside help, ie, I need to give a pidyon nefesh to a tzaddik, to clear up the judgments that are still hanging over my head, and preventing me from having emuna.
There was only one problem with all this clarity: my emunat tzadikim is even less at the moment, standing at a whopping 12% (no, that’s not a typo). It’s a long story how it got to be so low, but I could see that midda kneged midda, giving a pidyon nefesh would go a long way to boosting my emunat tzadikim (because you can’t give it unless you believe it’s really going to do something good for you.)
But I was still wavering a little, especially as my finances are still tight.
So then, God gave me the brainwave to randomly open my copy of the Likutey Moharan (with English translation) and this is what I read:
“One who disgraces the honor of a Torah Scholar has no healing for his illness, for the main power of healing that comes from the Torah is impossible to receive other than through the Sages of the generation….Therefore the main thing is to have faith in the sages, and to be particular to relate to them with great respect and reverence.” – LM Lesson 57.
OKAY then, pidyon nefesh it is. I sent the email off yesterday, and I’m waiting to hear back. But one thing I can tell you for sure: if the ‘matzav’ continues or worsens, God-forbid, I’m going to need a heck of a lot more than 42% emuna and 12% emunat tzadikim to get through it in one piece.