Continued from last week here:
Likutey Moharan I:282 – Week 2
One morning during hisbodedus, a thought came to me that I should begin harnessing the energy I receive from eating in order to implement the teachings of Azamra in my daily life. This topic was fresh in my mind after speaking with a friend about achila d’kedusha (i.e. uplifting the act of eating into something more than a simple indulgence in one’s physical desires). In order to harness the energy from the food I ate, I resolved to pause even before making a brocha on the food that I was going to eat and quietly say, “Hashem, please may I be able to use the energy from this food to be able to see the good points in others.”
Successfully following this practice for a few days, I started to see real progress in identifying nekudos tovos (good points) in others. Then one day, I fell flat on my face in this department. Reflecting back in hisbodedus the next morning, I realized that I had been aggravated after not getting my way and had subsequently failed to continue this practice when eating that day. In fact, I really stuffed my face – and even took the kids on a trip to the candy store where I had bought myself a big bag of jelly beans to drown my sorrows in sugar! Understanding that my failure to continue this practice had most likely resulted in my failure, I resolved to be more careful the next day.
The more I continued this practice and coupled it with hisbodedus focused on Azamra, the clearer the path forward became for me. It then became abundantly clear that I had long overlooked looking to identify the nekudos tovos of my youngest child. For as long as I could remember, I resented just how adept my youngest child was at manipulating situations in our family. Perhaps I was simply jealous that I was not always getting my way, but nevertheless, I realized that while I could recount the nekudos tovos of my other chidren, I really had to struggle to identify the nekudos tovos of my youngest child.
This realization regarding the way forward came at an oppotune time since my oldest child was going away to sleep-away camp for a month; allowing me to better focus on my youngest child. Afterall, when one child is out of the mix it always changes the dynamics in the home. It seemed like there was a very real possibility to make some real progress on this front.
I continued with this focus for a few days and things did not seem to be getting any better. In fact, they seemed to be getting worse! In hisbodedus, I said, “The Rebbe said that by focusing on another person’s good points, you can literally make them better. And yet, Hashem, I am seeing the opposite! I trust that every word that the Rebbe said is true, but I am not seeing it with my own eyes. Please Hashem, may I see that the Rebbe’s eitzah (advice) works even in this case with my youngest child!”
Next week, I will tell you what happened.