The post discussed 2 groups:
Group #1: Consulted a lot with rabbis, rebbetzins, advisers, etc., and followed the advice with great mesirut nefesh…yet everything kept failing.
Group #2: Consulted with rabbis, rebbetzins, advisers, etc. and then did not follow their advice (or did not consult at all), and now feels major regret because feels the advice was actually right.
The post emphasized that ultimately, these 2 groups still need to turn to Hashem.
- The first group was overdependent on other human beings and took the messages way too literally rather than examining them objectively with Hashem.
- The second group ignored the messages (whether from pain or gaavah or confusion) rather than examining them objectively with Hashem.
Yet there’s a third group.
There are people who consulted with rabbis, rebbetzins, chinuch advisors, etc…and things worked out swimmingly! And things worked out EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Woo-hoo! The lucky ones! These are the people who get to star in all those stories of inspiration popular in frum reading!
So what’s their challenge in all this?
It’s sort of like the challenge of wealth, which in some ways is a bigger nisayon than the challenge of poverty.
These people need to have the humility and gratitude to realize Hashem allowed everything to work out for them, and it’s not just because they were so smart and good, and did the “right” thing in consulting with Rabbi or Rebbetzin So-and-So.
Paradoxically, it can be harder for them to really turn directly to Hashem on a regular basis with the same healthy dependence because their situation doesn’t force them to throw all their weight on Hashem.
And this paradox of success is true for all of us.
Balancing Your Individual Points of Superiority
It doesn’t matter what it is: shalom bayit, well-behaved children, a well-run home, robust finances, easy pregnancies, smooth births…anything. If it’s going well for us and not for others, then it must be because they must be doing something wrong.
And the oh-so successful me must be doing it all right!
(Okay, it could easily be they’re doing something wrong, but it doesn’t have to be. Or maybe they are doing something wrong, but not in the way you think they are.)
This is human nature and I’m no exception. Yet it needs to be identified and overcome.
If something is wrong in life, that's a challenge from Hashem to help you rectify certain aspects because He loves you so much and wants you to be as fabulous as you can be and earn the best Eternal Life possible.
If something is right in life, that's a gift from Hashem (and also a challenge, as discussed) because He loves you so much and wants you to use your strengths to be as fabulous as you can be and earn the best Eternal Life possible.
We all have areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Maybe you’re failing at your marriage, but you’re really good with your toddlers.
Maybe you’re happily always available for with making nutritious & filling meals for the sick, but have no patience to care for other people’s children.
Interestingly, people tend to expect others to be strong where they are and look down their nose at people who are weak in their strong area, even though these same people are strong in other areas in which you’re weak.
And this really impacts the advice you give to others.
This also really impacts the advice others give to you.
This is why it’s so important to take it all back to Hashem in some version of the following:
Group #1 (my group) can get the message that Hashem is whomping over their head: TURN TO ME.
They can sit down with Hashem as if He is their Good, True Friend and ask Him why this whole disappointing mess is happening.
What’s the message? Are these advisers right? Wrong? A mixture of both?
And even if you stop asking for advice, Hashem still sends you the messages you need in other ways, via other people or experiences (even via spiders).
(Speaking from personal experience…)
Group #2 can sit down with Hashem as if He is their Good, True Friend and ask Him how they should handle the advice they’ve received.
They can admit that their instinctive response is to just fling it all aside and keep going their own way.
Then they can tell Hashem the advice they received and piece it apart point by point to see what they should keep and what they should discard.
Group #3 can sit down with Hashem as if He is their Good, True Friend and thank Him from the bottom of their heart that Hashem has made it so easy for them to get the right advice in all areas. Yishtabach Shemo!
They can also ask that this chessed continues.
For example, there have been aspects that I took pride in over others, but Hashem knocked me off my pedestal to show me that it wasn’t me who was superior, but Him.
Other people have told me they’ve had the same experience.
So it’s essential to take it back to Hashem whether you are hopelessly lost or blessedly found.
So tachlis. What do you do if you belong to any of the above 3 groups?
You turn to Hashem.
And interestingly, all 3 groups can actually respond in more or less the same way.
Please see previous post: Different Courses for Different Horses