Worry seems to be part of the human condition. If it’s not one thing, it’s another; there always seems to be something that’s cause for concern. Solving a problem doesn’t signal the end of difficulties; it only clears the decks for another challenge. How is one to remain calm in such a stress-filled environment? When disappointments, illness or financial difficulties strike, what can one do to stay sane?
Dovid Hamelech said: “Cast your burden upon the L-rd, and He shall sustain you; He will never let the righteous slip” (Tehillim 55:23). Genuine faith in Hashem’s support and watchfulness gives a person a sense of tranquility. Truly believing that one is totally under the care of Hashem provides a safe psychological haven from the hectic pace of life. Saying it is easy, but living it takes practice.
Firstly, when confronted by a problem, one must reframe the situation from a negative to a positive situation. One should say: “Hashem is doing this, and so the time, place and events I’m dealing with are all in my best interest.” Self-reliance and personal effort can yield good results, yet one should still attribute success to Hashem’s doing.
Secondly, one must constantly remind oneself of the fact that Hashem is one’s best friend Who loves and cares about one’s well-being. The realization that He protects and defends His loved ones from harm — much as a flesh-and-blood parent would do — yields a sense of safety like that felt by chicks under a mother bird’s wings.
Thirdly, knowing that Hashem decides all that happens removes jealousy, hate and the desire for revenge from one’s heart. If the perpetrator of my pain was only a marionette, there is no need to focus on his acts.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Some people are under the impression that in our modern age we need new concepts for obtaining happiness. But people don’t change. There are constant changes in external conditions and environment, but the essential person, what makes one happy or sad, one’s desires and ambitions, basically remain the same. New techniques might develop, but the scholars throughout the ages in works of mussar have supplied the knowledge necessary for achieving happiness. (Rabbi Yosef Avraham Wolf, Torat Hanefesh, p. 11)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge.