The loneliness of pain and suffering can be unbearable. It’s all but frustrating to try and relate the pain, yet so so hard to bear it alone. Sometimes I feel like a skinny kite in a big storm.
Listen to Reb Nosson (Hilchos Gevias Chov Min Hayesomim 3:17):
“EACH PERSON WILL PASS THROUGH MANY, MANY JUNCTURES IN THEIR LIFE AND MANY OCEANS AND RIVERS AND SUBTERRANEAN WATERS…AND THROUGH MANY DESERTS FILLED WITH LARGE AND TERRIBLE SNAKES AND SCORPIONS, UNTIL THEY ARE ABLE TO ACTUALLY REACH THE GATES OF HOLINESS FOR REAL. AND THIS MATTER, THE DEGREE TO WHICH A PERSON NEEDS TO KEEP STRENGTHENING THEMSELVES, IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE MOUTH TO SPEAK OF, TO EXPLAIN OR TO RELATE, FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER… FOR EACH PERSON WILL IMAGINE THAT [ANY AND ALL ENCOURAGEMENT] DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM. EACH PERSON WILL THINK THAT THEIR OWN TRIALS AND TRAVAILS … CAUSE THEM TO BE SO STUCK AND SO TRAPPED, THAT THERE REALLY IS NO WAY OUT, TO THE POINT THAT THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE IN THEIR ABILITY TO EVER RETURN FROM THE DARKNESS. SO IT SEEMS TO EACH INDIVIDUAL”.
So what is there left to do? How can we move on if the pain is so real and so unique?What can we do to lift ourselves up?
Reb Nosson continues:
“THIS IS [EXACTLY] WHAT REBBE NACHMAN CHALLENGED WHEN HE SAID “GEVALD!! DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF”. AND HE DREW OUT THE WORD “GEVALD” VERY MUCH”.
Gevald has no translation in english. It’s just an exclamation of alarm! In a little room in Ukraine, a bit more than 200 years ago, Rebbe Nachman was addressing this very feeling. He challenged the sufferer: “You think it’s unbearable? You think nobody could understand what you’re going through? You think there’s no hope for you? “Gevald!! don’t give up on yourself”. Even you, with your situation, your pain and your sins! To me this also means, don’t stop trying to heal. Don’t ever stop trying to connect with others. Don’t be afraid lay your heart out on the table. I know it feels like you’re all alone and it seems like it’s useless. Who can understand my pain? But “Gevald!!” There’s more than you know. There’s much more than you know…
Originally published in aHallel D’var