Coping with stress and anxiety during holiday season (Article)
Part 4 – Our Ego and our faith
Oftentimes, we feel a great deal of stress because we feel the need to please the Lord. We feel that we need to be strong, elevate our spirituality, give thanks to the Lord. And when that does not happen we fall into negative feelings such as self-guilt, disappointments, failure, and other similar feelings. We feel that we are too superficial, not connected enough, not worthy, lazy.
I will share with you some of my personal internal thoughts, between me and myself in that regard as an example:
“How did I fall again into my evil selfish nature, how did I disappoint the Lord again. Why can’t I seem to change my bad habits? Why can’t I be a loyal servant to the lord. How can’t I see that it is all from above. I got angry again, fighting with my wife and children. I know its all from the Lord to show me that I am not connected but I keep making the same mistakes. I keep disappointing him.
He probably gave up on me. I am a disappointment. I wanted this holiday to be elevated spiritually and I find myself again arguing with my wife and children and messing up the holiday spirit on silly stuff “
These are some of my personal thoughts that are coming through my mind, when I am getting into an argument with my family.
If you recall we said in there is an equation we can use, or a red flag to let us know that our Ego is in the control. The equation was that negative feelings mean that our Ego is in the driver’s seat
So, if I have these kind of thoughts and feelings, does that mean that my Ego again is in the Driver’s seat? That my animalistic soul is in control?
How is that possible I am talking here about my will to please the Lord, not myself. That is the least selfish act. I am not doing it for myself.
So how does that Jive with the equation than we just learned?
And I am telling you brothers and sisters, it jives. This equation is an axiom. If I have negative feelings, my Ego is in control.
Lets’ go over four learnings that will show you that this is true in this case as well.
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. If you wish to use in these learnings Jesus where I mention the Lord, you are welcome to do that as well.
So here are four rules that are going to help you understand that even in these sensitive cases your ego is in control and you need to change your rewire you mindset to resolve this problem and reduce the self guilt and stress during the holidays.
- God’s love is infinite. The Lord does not love you more when you are a loyal servant and less when we you follow your evil nature. You need to think about Divinity more like then sun. The sun shines to all directions and radiates warmth regardless of where you stand. It is up to you to stand in the right place to be able to enjoy the warmth of the sun. The sun is going to continue to radiate infinite warmth regardless of your actions. When you stand inside a room with closed blinds, you are not feel the warmth of the sun as much. You did not disappoint the sun by closing the blinds. its just the rules of physics. In a similar manner, of course with a big difference here, the sun is not an intelligent entity, however, it is as good as we can understand it with our human mind. If we don’t feel the Lord because of our actions, that does not mean that the lord is giving us more or less, or that he is thinking about us more or less, it’s just that we put on ourselves mental barriers that do not let the grace of the Lord shine on us.
- So many times, we tend to humanize God. Because we are humans, and we cannot think in a non-human way. Everything around us has a beginning and end, time and place. We cannot grasp infinity and we cannot grasp a dimension without time. It is like asking a fish to understand jealousy. There are things that we just cannot understand, and we are trying to use our limited perception to understand things that are beyond the capacity of our thought. So, if we are thinking that the Lord is angry with us because of something we did, that means that before that he was happy, and now he is angry?. He changed his feelings because of us? We are treating the Lord like a person and demeaning him. That also means he is not infinite. If he is disappointed because of something we did, that means that he is unhappy or sad, is he missing happiness? That is just not logical. Our Lord’s happiness depends on our actions? If that is the case that means that he needs us, and if he needs us he is not almighty, God fornid. Try to think about it more it terms of action and reaction. If you put your hand in the fire you will get burned, the fire is not disappointed in you because you did it. Its just a reaction to your action. The good lord created in our word physical as well as spiritual rules of action and reaction, for us to be able to develop ourselves, learn, grow, elevate our spirituality, connect with him, for our own good. Those are rules of action and reaction. We are not changing God. The reward and punishment given to us is a reaction to our actions. We feel it, not the Lord. And the terms used in the bible such as God’s anger, are there for us to be able to better understand the Divine will, to understand what path we need to choose with our human limited capacity.
- There is nothing outside of the Divine will. That means that no matter what we do, no matter how bad we think it is, it is still inside the Divine will. Can you think of a situation where lets say I do something completely outside of my nature, let’s say that I, God forbid, stole from someone, and the Lord would say “Sagie, you caught me by surprise, I did not expect that”. That is like saying that the Lord does not know everything, that he is not almighty. Moreover, is it not logical to think that there is possibility for me to do something outside of the Divine will. Therefore, even when something bad happens, when we do something bad or even evil, or there is an event where others are behaving in a certain manner that is not in the right path, it is STILL, inside the divine will. There is no scenario in this universe, no action, no power, no event that is outside of the Divine will.
- There are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. Every event, every creation, every mosquito, every rock and of course every person is here for a reason. To say that something here is not for a reason, means that the Lord does not have rational.
So now after we went through the 4 learnings, which I am sure some of you already know.
Lets try to analyze an event and see how I can use these four learnings to understand that if I fall into negative thoughts, stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, it is actually my Ego, or animalistic soul.
Let’s say that I was speaking with my daughter during the preparations for the holiday and we got into an argument and I got angry and I was yelling at her. Let’s even say that I said things that should not be said.
Let’s analyze this event see what we can learn from that.
After I calm down, I begin to fill myself with guilt feelings. “how could I be so insensitive. Instead of elevating the holiday spirit I am fighting with my daughter, creating a negative atmosphere, and over something so silly, like at what time they should come for dinner” What kind of servant I am to the Lord? Instead of spreading happiness, joy spirituality, love, I am spreading anger frustration and sadness. The Lord must be very angry at me. He is very disappointed in me.”
- What is happening here? Did I just disappoint the Lord or did I disappoint myself (learning number two)?
- Who is angry at me, the Lord with his infinite love and patience (learning number one), the one that does not get angry nor happy (learning number two)?
- Did this event happened to me without a reason (learning 4)? Did I surprise the Lord with my reaction? He did not expect that (learning 3)?
So if it all happened for a reason, and I did not disappoint the Lord, or made him angry, then what am I beating myself up for? It’s because I have this image of how I should be, what kind of servant I should be to the Lord and I did not reach my own personal goal or image. I am not as good as I want to be. My Ego wants to feel that he is great, good, giving and righteous. and me Sagie is not letting my Ego enjoy this image of the perfect servant it, the Ego wants to see. It enjoys this image that it is glorified and I am taking It away from it so it is angry with me. I am angry with myself.
Should I apologize to my daughter? Of course, should I try to change my ways? Of course. Should I feel sorry for hurting her feelings? Yes. Should I try to correct the situation? absolutely.
But I should not sink into sadness, stress, and negative feelings. I should learn from it, grow, evolve, change my ways, and understand that I am only human, and I will make more mistakes, as long as I learn from them and evolve and get closer to the Lord that is ok. The Lord’s love for me or my loved ones is not affected by that event whatsoever.
So cheer up, get back on your