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Why Don’t I Feel Inspired Anymore?

Why Don’t I Feel Inspired Anymore?

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Question:

I am experiencing a major lull in my spiritual motivation. I started getting into Jewish things around a year ago, but now I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. Rosh Hashanah is coming—last year I was all inspired, this year I don’t feel any drive whatsoever to attend services. Is there something I can do to revive my enthusiasm?

Answer:

Do you remember how you learnt to ride a bike? Your first bicycle was fitted with training wheels on both sides, to keep you from tipping over. The training wheels allowed you to get the feel of riding the bike and build confidence. You felt so good, speeding along and never falling.

Then, just as you started to get comfortable, your parents removed the training wheels and told you to get on the bike and ride. So you got on, rode for half a second and then lost balance and fell flat. “How can I ride without training wheels?” you thought. But your parents insisted that you try again. So you did, and again you fell.

Your frustration built up, to the point that you were ready to give in. You may have wondered why your parents took the training wheels off in the first place. But had they not, you would never learn to ride your bike all on your own. It’s harder to ride without training wheels, but only then is it really you riding the bike, using your own skill rather than depending on outside help. You may fall a few times, but as long as you get back up and keep pedaling, eventually you get your balance and the bike rides smoothly along the road.

When someone gets in touch with their Jewishness for the first time, there is a thrill and an excitement unlike anything else in the world. This initial inspiration is a little helping hand from G‑d, spiritual training wheels that help us start our journey. But once we get the hang of it, once we have advanced along the spiritual path and are ready to go deeper, the training wheels are removed and we have to ride on our own. The inspiration disappears, the motivation fades, and we are left dangling.

Here’s the real test. When the excitement wears off, there are those who drop out of the spiritual life. They think that the fun is over, this spiritual stuff isn’t for me, and they move on. If we do that, then we miss out the chance to go to the next level: to connect to our souls through our own efforts. Precisely the moment when the inspiration fizzles out is when the real soul work begins. Rather than being propped up by divinely created inspiration, we have to look within and start riding on inspiration that we create ourselves. The spiritual path has to become ours, something we work for and earn.

We will fall again, but every fall brings a chance to take things to a new level. Keep on pedaling, inspired or not, and you will advance further and further in your soul’s journey.

Feeling uninspired? Your training wheels are off. You don’t need them anymore. Get up and ride.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
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Discussion (50)
March 16, 2017
There is Just An Abundance of Inspiration Everywhere
I find too much inspiration. In my home and outside my home, inspiration is everywhere. Humanity has inspiration to spare. Tap into the stream of inspiration, it's like an oasis. It's like a stream of cool water in the desert. Just tap into it, drink from it and become an inspiration for others and you will surely be inspired from the source of inspiration which for me is the Joy of the Holy Spirit.
Inspiration is eager to be yours.
Anonymous
Near Hollywood
March 16, 2017
Nice article. Now I'm gonna go ride 10 miles!
yaacov
Atlanta
chabadofcobb.com
March 1, 2017
David , did the best thing he encouraged himself in the Lord. Sometimes when I read the scriptures its seems like water just running through the pipes. Then I remember a verse in Isaiah where it says , " my word will not return to me void , but it will prosper in the thing whereto I have sent it ", that is a great promise which motivates me to seek Him with all of my heart and He tells us we will be found by Him when are heart is heading in the right direction and down the right path . Unto thee will I lift up my soul are cry should be and He will surely lift it up.
Joseph Ferrara
Woodside
February 28, 2017
Look around you. Judaism is great! Read a book by a Jewish author, celebrate our wonderful gift. We know so much! Take your gift of Jewishness, and embrace it!
Shelli
Rockville
February 11, 2017
To Anonymous in Albuquerque
I appreciate your compassionate response. I guess I'm a little too sensitive to ridicule. Maybe it's from feeling a little insecure in my knowledge. Hebrew has long been a struggle for me, and my biblical knowledge still isn't the greatest. About the latter I am reading the narrative portions (Joshua through II Kings) of the bible nightly. I'm using the Artscroll Tanach with commentaries. Saying "No, I'm doing this instead" has never come easily to me, but I should learn to do it. Practice might make perfect.
Anonymous
Tucson
February 8, 2017
If you need inspiration to overcome a lull...
I recommend Tanya, specifically Chabad Rabbi Krasnianski's Tanya class, at tanyaclass.com, Book of the Intermediates,Tanya: Chapter 04 – Part 3 – audio Torah. While elucidating text from Tanya, he explains what is really happening here in this world when we engage with Torah and Mitzvoth and what HaShem is transmitting to us ...it will surprise you.
Anonymous
Paradise, CA
November 21, 2016
Wow mamash inspired! Thank you so much! I can't wait for Rosh Hashana
yenty goldstien
October 27, 2016
Inspiration! I am am just overflowing with Inspiration.
I've just oodles of inspiration. Music inspires me. Singing, playing an instruments, even whistling, listening to inspiring works of music by the masters, also all kinds of music ordinary people can be inspiring. I love all kinds of music and musical instruments of every type from various countries. I like ancient music and I like contemporary music too. But of course my ultimate and highest religious inspiration is derived from old traditional English and Celtic Hymns and praises to God.

When that your inspiration tank is on "E", try listening to inspiring music to lift up your flagging spirits. Even children's music can be uplifting.
Ruth J. Goldberg-
Los Angeles, California
September 22, 2016
Thank you for the explanation. Often simple parallels open our eyes and give us the understanding we seek.
Chris Frase
September 18, 2016
I find reciting Tehillim to work well to kindle my fire
Uriel