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Humble Joy

Humble Joy

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Carrying a burden of guilt and inadequacy, you’re not going to be too happy. And where did you pick up that load? From a delusion that you’ve already arrived.

Face up to where you really are. Start your climb from there.

And when you do good, celebrate.

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. Or order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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valerie ohio February 18, 2013

HUMBLE JOY fascinating. having not read all of the comments yet, this post brought to mind an important decision in my life, personally. it seemed my parents, teachers, associates thought and expected me to achieve great heights as far as successes, importance, etc. not reaching those expectations? very depressing. feeling like a failure to so many? very depressing. ...until one day 40 years later, it dawned on me - no one really knew me!!!! and that gave me the freedom to accept myself with limitations and all. what great joy that was -- and is!!! Reply

Anonymous February 18, 2013

majority In reality, I think that making a good living and having money trumps faith.

I am not disappointed. I feel good. I am probably celebrating without knowing it.

I agree with philadelphia. pa. Depression is a disease just like cancer. Cancer does not stem from self-delusion. But the DD does express a caveat by using the word ' most '. I am not qualified to quantify. Reply

Gavir Hanita Hazaka Abir Sellek 2nd Canada February 18, 2013

Depression While it is a fact all of us do experience some form of depression whether Clinical or from certain circumstances, it is also a fact that when we quiet down our soul in prayer depression seems to subside from us. If we persist in prayer before G-D then depression must leave us so that the Joy of the LORD may fill our hearts and souls and we rejoice with gladness before the LORD with the Joy HE has for us. Reply

Deborah Schiff Boston February 18, 2013

Depression I am a psychiatrist who treats severe depression every day. Nobody wants this malady, and it is clearly a chemical and brain disorder that afflicts millions. Modern drugs have made a huge difference in millions of people's lives - the wisdom of the Rebbe Shneerson however is solace and inspiring, because he speaks the truth about life. Teaching people with depression and using his wisdom about what life really is about, provides a comfort and self esteem for people when nothing else does. I have found that traditional psychotherapy never addresses the true nature of life - that we are holy and spiritual beings, created in the image of G-d and this gives the person suffering hope and belief in themselves. For a non jewish person, one does not have to invoke the Rebbe name - but the wisdom he has brought into this world. I have found his teachings invaluable in treatment of depression. One can use both modalities in treatment, bringing immense comfort to those that suffer with depression Reply

John Smith FL February 18, 2013

Reboot For many people this is what's known as "re-born" and is usually done when someone is at a mental rock bottom. No more than G-d rebooting the soul from the pits and depths of misunderstandings of who or what a person is designed for.

This is usually when the ego takes over and creates more havoc within the soul which creates more delusions of grandeur. Reply

Louise McReynolds Encino, Los Angeles March 7, 2012

A non-Jewish Widowed South African Woman's View Rabbi Schneerson couldnt have expressed his view with more wisdom when responding to the "nurse and medical research" person. I believe very strongly that its the pharmaceutical industries who "convince" people they are ill by creating fear via their advertising on every channel & boy, do these adverts come at you fast & furiously. My son & I get so irritated & are shocked at how little of a movie we can watch because every break (& there are many) is throwing medication down our throats with such awful side effects that we wonder why anyone would want to take medication at all.

Get to the root of the problem! We're all blessed with strong, powerful & beautiful minds that we simply dont use. The pharmaceutical industry are the drug dealers! They put my son of 9yrs on Vicodin when he broke his little finger soon after arriving to the US. I had never heard of Vicodin & would never have allowed him to take these if I knew how dangerous these were!

Today he is fighting heroin addiction! Reply

Denver RN Denver, CO July 4, 2011

Haughtiness/Depression/You have it wrong Given that I am a giving individual as my career is nursing and medical research, I totally disagree with your commentary/printing on "much of depression stems from haughtiness" Whoever wrote this, is ignorant to the inner-workings of our mind. Depression is Not mind over matter or does it go away with one giving up their "haughtiness" It is a disease process that occurs in 12 million Americans alone, not to mention millions more around the world. It is a biological, situational, chemical, brain/mind altering thief that robs one of many moments of true happiness. When Major Depressive Disorder hits, it is NOT the patients fault as implied with haughtiness. Perhaps removal of this statement will keep Jews coming to your site. I doubt it, when one finds a discriminatory statement or act, one typically does not repeat. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman October 12, 2009

Clinical Depression Sadly, many physicians have created the impression that "all you need is to take these pills and you'll be happy." While it is true that psychotropics have helped many people, they have also caused a considerable number of suicides, especially among adolescents. The horrible "downer" of coming off these pills often proves too much for the subject--never mind the disastrous effects of forgetting to take them for a few days. Many doctors even prescribe anti-depressants for situational depression and post-partum depression--creating thereby a far bigger mess than they started with. Cognitive-behavioral therapy in most cases has proven at least as effective--and without the adjunctive dangers involved.

True, there are many cases where CBT is inapplicable, or only effective in concert with a pharmaceutical solution. But the pharmaceuticals on their own will never be successful in the long term. They must be seen as the springboard to an optimistic attitude and healthy approach to life. Reply

Anonymous Newburgh, Ny October 12, 2009

To Philadephia, Pa I wholeheartedly agree. Religion can only help (or destroy) so much. Trained professionals are there for a reason. Reply

Anonymous Philadlephia, pa October 12, 2009

To Newburgh, NY Those that say it is mind over matter about Clinical Depression are just WRONG! Seek professional help. I really feel that is the only way to help ensure success with this disease. Reply

Anonymous Newburgh, Ny October 10, 2009

Yet I Find Myself Believing it when people like that talk about mind over matter like that. That I feel like yeah, I can snap out of easily. Yet when I feel that depressed, I feel like it'll NEVER get better and I find myself once again angry at the "spiritual gurus" that lifted me up. Reply

Anonymous philadelphia, pa October 9, 2009

Humble Joy I also agree with the comments from the reader from Valpo, IN.
I am very very close to an individual who has lead a very productive life until 5 years ago when her depression hit. She has not worked in all that time and is on disability. She has had 14 ECT sessions. You don't burn parts of your brain because you are haughty. You do that after years of unsuccessful therapy and unsuccessful drug treatments. It is ignorance to think that those with depression can just "snap out of it".
In addition, I am sure that the Rebbe knew and Tzvi must agree that since G-d is the orchestrater of all things, and he gave us various emotions, we ARE to feel them. They belong to us.
Depression is not saddness, nor is it haughtiness. Depression is a disease that is heartbreaking to the one who is ill and to those around them. Reply

Anonymous Newburgh, Ny October 8, 2009

I agree... With anonymous from Valpo, Indiana. You can't just say that Depression stems from what we don't have. If it were only so easy to see in ourselves who we really are, then we WOULDN'T be so depressed. I do agree that depression and other mental health problems stem from physical and chemical imbalances in the body.

Mind over matter is easy, in theory. I can't stand when a so called "spiritual guru" says that the mind is a powerful thing and that we can will ourselves to happy or sad or that, with training, we can meditate in the Himalayas during a blizzard. IT'S NOT THAT EASY! If you keep preaching that, people WILL get angry at you and walk away. Reply

Anonymous Bartlesville, Oklahoma October 8, 2009

Humility One needs to be humble to understand his circumstances and see within himself things which need to be improved upon. He needs to know for example where he falls short and what he needs to do to improve. We are deep into our exile. So deep that we do not understand the the depth of it. We struggle to make sense of our present day circumstances and look forward to our reunification with Israel the land and of Israel the people. At the uppermost head of this reunification is the longing to be with and serve the creator as in the days before the exile. Joy can truly be achieved when we see and understand who we really are beneath the sheets of emotion which are heaped upon us in our exile and peer through the confusion at our true selves. This can be done if we are humble enough to see that we are not the sum of our life experiences but rather vessels that contain our souls and we have all the tools we need if we would pick them up and use them. What then is holding us back? Our exile. Reply

Anonymous valpo, in October 8, 2009

IMO, I don't think "much" depression comes from haughtiness but from low self esteem, chemical imbalances among other life events. I think it's pretty haughty to presume what causes depression in 'much' of the people who suffer from it.
How can one be full of pride and arrogance when they feel undeserving of love, even from themselves... that whatever transgression they have done or has been done to them they are convinced they deserved it. Most of the people I know don't believe they are better than anyone else whether it be to suffer or succeed. Depression is a serious illness not some passing state of mind. Reply

Anonymous October 7, 2009

Anonymous, Manchester, u.k Sometimes people need to listen things more crudely in order to effectively change wrong behaviors.
Sweet and too compassionate words sometimes don't get good ,needed and really desired results.
Sometimes, one is much more compassionate when he /she tells things the way they trully believe things are.
And if one who listens is really on the path of High,he/she will filter,elaborate and draw from the crude words the best and intended results.
I trully believe Guevurah must be applied, and we should not fear it. Reply

Anonymous Manchester, u.k October 7, 2009

humble joy presumably you are not talking about clinical depression; just being fed up and dissatisfied...... you should choose your words more carefully. Attitudes to people who have mental health problems in the Jewish community need to change and you need to show compasasion and understanding. Reply

Anonymous October 6, 2009

yes there are many reasons for depression--but this is a big one--especially in a society which tells us we are never enough. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman October 6, 2009

Source This is actually a paraphrase of a thought in chapter 27 of the Jewish classic, "The Tanya" of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. The Rebbe would quote it often in private letters.

Chapter 27 is very precious. Sometimes I feel it contains 90% of the advice you'll need in life. Especially if you've ever suffered addiction or depression. Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman October 6, 2009

Explain No, it's not naughtiness, it's haughtiness.

It's when you think, "How could a great person like me have made such serious errors? Why I am not yet the president? Why has nobody made an article about me in Wikipedia?"--that's when the depression sinks in.

After all, while depressed, you have the best excuse: I really should be president, just that I'm depressed right now so I haven't gotten there yet.

In other words, we all tend towards an inflated estimation of our own virtues. We imagine ourselves to be far more kind, rational, resilient, patient, etc. than we really are. Then when we don't live up to our own expectations, we are depressed.

Rather than falling into depression over every failure, better to be pleasantly surprised when you actually get things right. Reply

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