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by Yehudis Golshevsky

Hold On! The Starting Point
Meshivat Nefesh #23
In my spiritual life, it’s necessary for me to take stock so that I can re-align myself with the will of my Creator. Taking my own spiritual inventory is liable to trigger my tendency to harsh self-criticism, though, and that usually leads to melancholy.

Rebbe Nachman addressed this common dynamic head-on and offered guidance to keep me from allowing my honest desire for transformation to get in the way of actual growth and change. When self-assessment leads me to the conclusion that even the good I’ve done has also been tainted by self-interest and ulterior motives, Rebbe Nachman says, “You must ask yourself: Have I never done a good thing in my life?” Wasn’t there also some kernel of pure goodness inside that act?

Rebbe Nachman encourages me to start with focus on my good points, because seeing them fills me with joy and vitality. When I look for them and discover them, I feel inspired by that pure and unadulterated point of goodness which forms an unbreakable bond with my Creator. That joy opens my heart so that I can sing to God and serve Him, it energizes me and frees me to grow into my best self.
Beloved God,
Help me to discover the good points
within myself.
With the “little bit” inside me
that is pure and good,
I’ll be strengthened to pray to You and serve You.
This is the starting point
that will take me everywhere I need to go.
(Based on Likutey Moharan I:282)

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