Rebbe Nachman says in Likutey Eitzot that “The Greatest Barriers of all are those in the mind.” Rebbe Nachman explains that our obstacles whether those that arise on our way to meeting a great Tzaddik or in prayer or really in anything else we want to achieve come from the doubts that enter our mind and that cause “our heart to falter.”
Our world is filled with distractions. From cell phones to TV we barely have time to focus on what’s really important. The strategy of the opposing forces in the world, those focused on destroying kedusha, holiness is to ensure that each on of us falls into doubt. This doubt grows and creates the barriers that prevent us from achieving success – both spiritual and material.
So how do we keep focused and not fall into self doubt and despair?
Rebbe Nachman teaches that we must cry out to Hashem with all of our strength in order to not fall into yeush, despair. Yeush flows from self doubt, which creeps into our hearts when we begin fulfill the ratzon, will of the Creator. Often times these doubts inject themselves during prayer, bringing us down. How do we pull ourselves back to our given path when we are flooded by forces that have given us doubt and made it seem that serving Hashem is impossible or even worse that Hashem is not even relevant, chas v’chalilah, Heaven forbid.
Rabbeinu zal teaches the following in Lesson 12 of Likutei Moharan Tinyana: “There are people who sink very low indeed and fall into all kinds of doubts and even have questions about God Himself. Nevertheless, the whole purpose of their falling is for them to rise up afterwards. The fall is for the sake of the ascent.”
Rebbe Nachman continues later in his lesson with the solution: “When a person sinks to these ‘filthy places’, he is filled with doubts, questions and confusion. But when he starts examining himself and sees how far he is from God’s glory and begins asking and searching, Ayeh? – ‘Where is the place of God’s glory?’ – this is the essence of the solution. He sees for himself that , having sunk to such places, he is far from God’s glory . When he asks Ayeh? – ‘Where?’ – this is his way to rise up and transform his fall into a great ascent. For the purpose of the descent is to lead to an ascent.”
“Ayeh? -“Where is the place of His glory?” This alludes to the exalted glory of the highest utterance, Bereishit , which is the source of the life-force of these places. Therefore when a person searches in earnest, Ayeh? – “Where is the place of His glory?” – this itself brings him back and he rises to the highest glory, Ayeh , which because of its great concealment gives life to these places. Having fallen there, by then searching Ayeh? – “Where is the place of His glory?” – he returns and connects himself to this exalted place, injecting new vitality into his very fall, and he can then rise to the most exalted heights.”
Rebbe Nachman teaches the following in the 46th lesson in Likutey Moharan Tinyana: “All the obstacles and temptations standing in the way of true fear of heaven are illusory walls. Be courageous and strong-hearted! All the apparent obstacles, such as financial and other material constraints or opposition from others, will disappear if you are determined and courageous in your quest for God.”
We must recognize that Hashem is everywhere and that at the end it is our doing that keeps us from breaking through and reaching our potential. We can if we choose and with tremendous courage and emunah reach the place of our holy desires. We can reach the palace of our princess, we can touch our soul again.