Your potential is greater than you think–Rebbe Nachman says you can accomplish extraordinary spiritual growth. Chaya Rivka Zwolinski explains
Breslov wisdom encourages us to understand that no matter our external circumstances, whether we live in a palace or a prison cell, we have the power of free will to transform ourselves and achieve closeness to God. Self-transformation is an essential gift of Judaism, and a theme woven by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov throughout Likutey Moharan.
In Lesson 51, we’re introduced to the Talmudic account of the four who entered Paradise, the Orchard of Godly Wisdom: Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva. He warned the others not to embrace incorrect vision and falsehood (water reprented by the mayim, mayim of our title) but he is the only one who maintained clarity and returned in peace. Rabbi Akiva taught us what to look at in the mind’s eye, showing us how to come closer to Hashem in peace. If we want to achieve, we must choose truth over falsehood, and believe that we always have the free will to do what brings us closer to Hashem.