Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Courageous Hitbodedut - Part I


Excerpt from Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Guide To Rebbe Nachman's Path Of Meditation by Rabbi Ozer Bergman:

Courageous Hitbodedut

Courageous hitbodedut is the most important thing you can do for your spiritual growth. It can free you from your demons and improve your relationship with others.

Your relationship with God is greatly affected by your relationship with your fellow human beings (Avot 2:1, 3:13). Use courageous hitbodedut to improve your relationship with others - and with Him.

What is courageous hitbodedut? It's the hitbodedut you don't want to have. In fact, your best hitbodedut is probably the one you haven't even thought of having.

Think for a minute. What's the hardest hitbodedut you can imagine having? What's holding you back from having it? When you think you know the answer, keep reading.

The kind of hitbodedut we're talking about is the one that can transform your relationship with God - or with another person, perhaps even with yourself. It may fee you from bad habits and bad traits. It will certainly clear the air.

Would you like some examples of what it take guts to say? I thought you'd never ask!

- "I've hated you for leaving me."

- "I stole $2,000 from you twenty years ago."

- "I don't have a license to practice, and would like to become legitimate."

- "We've never said, 'I love you' in this family. I love you."

- "Will you marry me?"

- "I'm not enjoying our love life."

- "I had an affair five years ago."

- "I really gave you a hard time at school, and I'm sorry I hurt you."

- "God, I'd like to feel You acknowledge me for all the hard work I do."

- "I am angry at how You treat Your children."

To know if you're ready for some courageous hitbodedut, here are a few clues to look for: How is your relationship with God? Your partner? Family? Co-workers?

If your relationship(s) is less than wonderful, chances are you're holding back something - something that, once expressed, could allow your self-awareness and Jewishness to grow.

Here are other clues that you need some courageous hitbodedut: You're angry at or avoiding someone. You're ashamed of something you did or scared that people will find out about it. You're worried about the consequences of such a hitbodedut session or feel uncomfortable thinking about it. Another important clue is that the trigger for such a session of hitbodedut happened a long time ago, but still resurfaces in your mind every now and then, maybe as you are reading this.

The best clue is that you don't want to have hitbodedut about that! This is a sure sign that you're avoiding something. In a nutshell, you probably haven't had the courageous hitbodedut yet because you're afraid of the outcome you imagine will result: loss, discomfort or change.

--

© Copyright 2007 Breslov Research Institute

Part II - continued tomorrow [here]

3 Comments:

At August 28, 2007 at 12:25:00 PM EDT, Blogger yitz.. said...

I think there's another kind of person in the world.. a person who doesn't have any native barriers, a person whose natural state is to be open and clear and not hide anything, for the sheer happiness of being unburdened, or just out of the hatred of everything holding us back..

a person.. like me.

Everything I've accomplished in my life is not by letting go of these really difficult things, but davka by not letting go. Not indulging the yetzer to be lost in avodah and detach from the world.

it scares me to my core to think of letting go of everything and just running to HaShem, because of how much it seems like that's _not_ what HaShem wants from me.

perhaps when I'm older and i've lived through all the other experiences that life has to offer and to learn from, perhaps then HaShem will let me let go of all of this, and just cling to Him.

but right now, that would be the most damaging thing I could do. damaging to my relationship with HaShem and all those around me. or so it seems.

I was going to post about this and I think now's a good time.

 
At August 29, 2007 at 5:03:00 AM EDT, Anonymous The Invisible Man said...

I'm sorry that my comment was censored and removed.

It was blunt but it said something important.

It's ironic that it was removed in the context of the espousal of "courageous" self-expression.

It made what I consider to be a vitally important point about a limitation of hitbodedut and the self-delusion that can result, based on a substantial personal practice of hitbodedut.

I think that the message of the censor is that you're allowed to express yourself within the context of the system, but you aren't allowed to express a meta-comment on the system itself.

I'm curious to see, Mr. Censor, whether you'll delete this message too, in the spirit of the rewrite department where Winston Smith worked 23 years ago.

 
At August 29, 2007 at 6:49:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my view, the blanket recommendation that people admit the harm that they have done others is not wise, since doing so can destroy relationships as easily as heal them.

Each case must be judged on its individual merits.

In serious cases, one would be well-advised to take the matter up first with a friend, a trusted spiritual advisor or even a professional therapist.

 

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