Friday, 23 March 2012

Fighting Fear

Ykv_schwartz posted on the forum in the beginning of his recent journey to 90 days:

by GYE, Yakov Shwartz (See all authors)

I have had one of the greatest two weeks in my life in a long time. I am a bit apprehensive though. I am scared. How can one possibly continue like this. Is it possible? Please, Please give me chizuk. I know in the past I failed. I feel I will not fail this time. But I am scared. It seems almost too good to be true.


GYE Replies:

Winston Churchill once said: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself". And - Lehavdil - Rebbe Nachman always said: "The main thing is not to fear at all". Sometimes, the fear itself can lead a person to fall.

They tell a story of R' Meir of Premishlan. As an old man he used to walk up and down a slippery, icy mountain in middle of the winter, to immerse in the stream. A band of mockers once made light of his daily trip and decided to try and imitate him. But as soon as they tried to climb the mountain, they all came sliding and crashing down. When Reb Meir heard about this he said "when a person is tied above, he doesn't slip down below".

In this struggle, we need to learn to "hold on above" and live with Hashem in our hearts. This is even more important that learning to FIGHT and be STRONG. One who has Hashem with him, is no longer afraid. The 12 Steps speak of "serenity". This is one of the most important aspects of success in this struggle. We bring Hashem into our hearts, we let Go and Let G-d. We don't try to control anything - which leads to fear when we ask ourselves "can I do it?". Instead, we let Hashem take over our lives.

The pasuk says: "Gibor Lo Yinatzel Berov Koach... hinei ein Hashem el Yirei'av, la'miyachalim lechasdo - The strong man will not be saved through strength... Behold the eye of Hashem are to those who fear him and hope to his kindness". One meaning of this could be that Hashem doesn't give success to STRONG people who can overcome the Yetzer hara even when it is very difficult. Hashem has enough "strong" Malachim in Shamayim. As a matter of fact, if a person thinks he is strong enough to withstand any test, Hashem may purposefully test him and bring him to fall just to show him that he is not as strong as he thinks. Instead, Hashem wants only "fear of heaven" and "hoping to him" for help. When we ask Hashem for help and tell him that we want to fear him, and when we hope to him and tell him that we know that we can't do it without him - THEN we will see success and be fearless in the process :-)

Also, if we learn to live one day at a time, the fear is greatly diminished. So if you feel a great fear of falling, tell yourself - just for today, I won't fall.


Ykv_schwartz answers:

Thank you GYE for your encouraging words. The funny thing is that I have been humming the tune to "The main thing is not to fear at all" for the past few days. I guess it was on my mind a lot. I have been focusing a lot on the 12 steps and I have been feeling immense natural serenity. I have been super calm to all that I meet. I feel a pleasure to be with people and to help people. My wife cannot get over what a calm and upbeat mood I have been in.

So I am just going to take this one moment at a time, keep myself tied above, continue to have Hashem in my heart (which the tikun Klali has greatly embedded in me) and hope to Hashem.

You guys are great! I feel like crying for joy just thinking about how wonderful you guys are. Thanks.