Feeling Frustrated in Service of HaShem

There are people who feel frustrated with themselves that they aren’t really doing anything in Avodas Hashem. They feel that they are spending their time, or worse, wasting their time, doing nothing productive. They feel that they have nothing to show at the end of the day.

Sometimes they try to learn and they just can’t. Different things come up every day which prevents them from actually sitting down and learning.  And even if they do make it to the Beis Medrash, if they have a study-partner, they end up schmoozing instead if learning. If they learn by themselves, they might daydream or even fall asleep. Of course, being alone by Hisbodedus is an even more opportune time to catch up on sleep or daydreaming.

What is the solution for us when we find ourselves in such a predicament?

The Rebbe in Likutei Moharan I 24 reveals the awesome power of doing Mitzvos joyfully. The Rebbe reveals that the happiness which we have when we perform Mitzvos helps us to ‘make order and settle the mind’. When we will start doing Mitzvos cheerfully, we will merit the ability to make sense of everything we are going through, to recognize the proper place and ‘order’ of where we are holding and were we want to reach.

The first thing we have to do is to remember the Rebbe’s advice to constantly start from fresh. When we start our new day, we have to completely and totally forget everything that happened until this moment. We have to realize that we are starting absolutely brand new, with no history whatsoever of any past failures and disappointments.

Before we actually go about our Avodah, we should take the time to contemplate about what we are about to do, in light of what the Rebbe reveals in LKM I 24.

We should be happy that we are about to do a Mitzvah. We are about to learn Torah, daven, or any other Avodah. We should think about how happy we should be that we are engaging in Avodas Hashem.

When we think about these things before we learn or do any other Mitzvah, we clear our hearts from all the pressure which has been building up inside of us as a result of all the feelings of failure which we have had until now. A lot of what has been causing us to not be able to concentrate on what we wanted to do is because of that strain.

After the set time for our Avodah has passed, the only feeling we should have is one of satisfaction of having merited serving Hashem. Whatever we have or haven’t accomplished no matter how much or how little, we have to be happy with what we have.

Even if we didn’t do anything, and the story repeated itself again, we still have to be happy. Be happy with davening today, Tzitizis, Teffilin, or even just with the fact that you’re Jewish.

When Hashem sees that you are happy with your Mitzvos no matter what, He will then open up the doors for you that you will actually be able to start doing and accomplishing more.

Author: Ephraim Portnoy

Ephraim Portnoy studied in both Beth Medrash Gevoha and the Breslov Kollel of Lakewood. He currently resides in Brachfeld, Israel.

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