Close to Him When Up & When Down
R' Kivak recently said in his shiur:
Rebbe Nachman teaches us to be 'baki b'ratzo' and 'baki b'shov' - to be experts at moving forward and experts at falling.
When we fall, we need to know that Hashem is right there with us, next to us and by our sides. He still loves us and treasures us and is there for us. There's no despair.
And when things go well and we're moving higher, we need to know that we have to keep on striving for Hashem. He's so great that we can never 'arrive'. Maybe we haven't even started yet.
The problem is that we do the opposite. When we're down, we get resentful and depressed that things aren't going our way. And as soon as we have a little bit of success, we have a few pennies in the bank, we feel like we're okay and we forget about Hashem. We get proud.
The goal is to strive to be close to Hashem whether we're up or down.
I think these ideas are very important for us in our struggle here. When we're down, we need to have the gaavah to know that Hashem is still with us. He still loves us and is there for us. He never tells us that we're beyond hope. Despite whatever we've done, we need to turn to Him and carry on doing what we can to serve Him.
And when things are going well, we need to have humility. To recognize that wherever we've got to is a gift, and to remember how dependent we still are on Hashem's grace, love and help. And we need to keep striving to foster an ever closer and closer relationship with Him, because "Le'gdulaso Ain Cheker - To His greatness there is no calculation".