Rebbe Nachman found it very, very difficult to make hitbodedut when he was younger. Even though he had a special room set aside specifically in which to make hitbodedut, it just seemed impossible for him to do this. It went against personality, even against his nature. However, he didn’t give up and he forced himself to spend many hours in that room, speaking to Hashem.
This was true of Rebbe Nachman’s spiritual tasks and all his service of Hashem. They felt to him like a tremendous burden. He said it felt as if they would crush him. But instead of giving up, he worked hard to find a way to serve Hashem in the way that would help him grow. He would tell himself, I have only this one day. I’m going to ignore tomorrow and all future days. I have only this one day alone.
In this way, by telling himself he only had to get through the day, he ingrained in himself the spiritual habits that eventually made him the towering tzaddik that he became.
We can take a lesson from this in our spiritual tasks. If you’re growth-oriented, you know that just sitting and thinking about being spiritual isn’t enough. You need to meditate, you need to pray; you need to learn a lot about the direction you should go in. You need to find a way to connect to Hashem, and you need to take action.
In truth, this process can seem overwhelming. But if you wake up each morning and say: I’m going to focus on today. Here are the spiritual tasks I have set out for myself. All I need to focus on is today. I won’t worry about tomorrow.
This will help you stick to what you need to stick to. It doesn’t matter how many spiritual tasks you have. It could be 100 in a day; it could be two in a day. Wherever you’re at, just remember that you only have to take care of one day at a time.
This isn’t an empty, light promise. It really works. The Rebbe’s followers use this technique to help them stay focused. It’s far easier to put a lot of energy into one day than to tell yourself that you need to put a lot of energy into this week or this month or this year.
As we get ready for the Festival of Freedom, Pesach, keep in mind that all you have to do is focus on today.
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Today’s mini-lesson is dedicated for a Refuah Sheleimah for Elinora bas Chana