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 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]