Hold On! Just Sit Tight
Meshivat Nefesh #40
If I catch myself in a negative behavior or thought pattern, what do I do?
Rebbe Nachman offers simple advice: Don’t do.
The sages used a term, “Sitting and doing nothing is preferable.” Sometimes, my deeply-seated need to act in this world of action can lead me astray. If I find that I’m in a negative cycle, I don’t need to act my way out of it. Sometimes I just need to stop doing. Let go of the negative act, let go of the negative thought. To learn how to just leave off of it.
Rebbe Nachman explains that this is really the essence of teshuvah—learning how to be in the same place, the same situation, and this time around…sit tight and not do.
You have formed me and made me
a person of action in the world of action.
Please help me to act with self-restraint when necessary…
to think with thought-restraint when necessary…
so that, at the very least, I don’t dig myself deeper
into negative thought and action when I’m already there.
Please help me to, sometimes, not do;
because, occasionally, that is the best path of action to take.
(Based on Likutey Moharan II:49)