"Know this: Whatever state a person might be in, when he wages constant war — the main thing is who wins in the end, who shoots the last bullet..."
It feels manic-depressive: When you're up, you can feel high as a kite.
When you're down, you can hate both yourself & the world.
Of course, the ups and downs may not always be as extreme as that, but it can still be discouraging if, for example, your Rosh Hashanah davening was full of flavor & inspiration, then the 10 Days of Teshuvah see you waking up on the wrong foot and feeling generally irritable or despondent.
Or maybe you wake up with a song in your heart, but throughout the day, events get you down and you go to bed feeling like a failure.
It helps a lot to know that this is a NATURAL part of the process, and not necessarily a negative reflection on the innate "you."
The Mud Parable
If you just stand there, you will surely sink deeper and deeper.
But if you try to wrangle one foot out?
Ah, now there's hope!
Yes, you're still in the mud.
But at least you resist getting swallowed whole.
So you end up in this wonky balancing act: You're up to your knees in mud and you've got one foot in and one foot out. And then you switch them. And then you switch them again. And again.
It's exhausting, it's messy...but it's exactly what you're supposed to be doing.
For many of us, whether we realize it or not, there's actually no other choice.
And the Winner is...The Exhausted Muddy Person Still Sunk in the Bog, But Who at Least has ONE Foot OUT!
"One foot in, one foot out. But the main thing is that the last foot should be outside."
Despite the fact that the rest of you is covered with mud and still caught in the bog, that mere one foot out declares you a winner.
But how can you know with all the constant switching, that the last foot will be out in the end?
Rav Bender assures us that it all depends on your desire. Ratzon.
If you really wholeheartedly want to get out of the mud, you will win in the end.
You can't know when — hopefully, it will be soon with a sweet Geula — but as long as you really want it, you WILL win in the end.
Spiritual Bipolar Disorder - Part 1