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Why Does Everything Always Go Wrong?

Why Does Everything Always Go Wrong?

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To a mother who was kvetching about everything always going wrong, and that her life was “full of curses and troubles”

Oy . . . I’m getting the picture.

Let me tell you what the Rebbe very often told people: Many troubles come because they feel at home. That is, when a person’s mind is full of thoughts of how rotten things are and how bad they are going, the troubles say, “Hey, here’s a place for us with all our friends, where we can feel at home!”

So what do you need to do? Throw out the unwanted guests—meaning, all those lousy thoughts—and bring in some friendly ones. There’s always something good; all of us have many blessings in life. You are alive, you are a mother who cares, you are not starving in Africa. First and foremost, you are a Jew who can turn and speak to G‑d firsthand at any time and He will listen, because you are His firstborn son.

Once you start thinking those thoughts and banish all the lousy ones, the troubles don’t feel at home any more. Instead, all those blessings that have been standing out the door for years waiting to come in—but couldn’t, because it just wasn’t the right company inside—now they will all come to party and fill your house.

Granted, this is not an easy task, at least for the first week or so. But we know from much experience that it works, and it works wonders: Misery attracts misery; joy attracts blessings.

How about giving it two weeks and see what happens?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Discussion (20)
January 18, 2013
Chazak Chazak vNit Chazek
Our purpose is to love hashem and to have a positive impact on someone else's life here on earth. As long as you can still does those things, life has purpose and meaning. We will have to face the hardships of life that we have to endure, understanding that we are not alone even though the hardships may be different from one person to the next. We have to keep eachother strong.
Anonymous
January 17, 2013
That is very truth
One negative though can network tons of negative thoughts.

The thing with negative energy or positive energy...Is that they are like electricity, they can be generated but they can't be seen.
Enrique Williams
Panama city, Panama
January 17, 2013
re even the knot slipped
Hey man i care for you.
Dont be depressed look at life not through a window but through your eyes and see that The Creator The Almighty Master My King May His Holy Name Forever Be Blessed has given you sight what many could only dream of having. See the world and realize that your a big part of it because Mr. William i care and i hope you see the kind of special person that you are. If the door to one place doesnt open dont worry. Be proud often times the worst happens to the bad inorder to prevent them from being great so keep fighting the good fight and prevail.
Anonymous
January 15, 2013
Good advice except
it's a Mother so first born son, doesn't quite work. How about first born, daughter. Connect, the daughts.
ruth housman
marshfield, ma
January 15, 2013
Good thoughts
This whole line of thinking is very wise. There is now a whole branch of psychology-Positive Psychology-with much evidence that shows how much our attitudes and thoughts affect how we feel, how happy we are. If I am not able to appreciate the good things I have, then they do me little good. Its like that story wherein someone says, "water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink..." Appreciation allows us to be nourished by the good things. Without it, no matter what is good, we cannot take it in. This is not about denial, its about focus and choice. Its a struggle, none-the-less, for those of us that have the habit of seeing the negative. My life has been made SO MUCH more difficult because I could not see what I have. Meditation- and I wish meditation was offered in more direct ways in mainstream Judaism - can help quiet us down enough to see how we're thinking about things to have some choice about our thoughts, and begin to hold the hard things a little lighter.
Anonymous
Redwood City, CA
January 14, 2013
to william warren
can someone please tell William Warren that Hashem loves him? you are in this world because Hashem lets you be , for some reason you are here to learn and to live. you have a mission!
Mariluz Aguilar (Chava Levy)
Guatemala
January 14, 2013
Uncover blessings or blame the sufferers
There is a huge difference in trying to uncover the blessing in objectively difficult circumstances (i.e.illness, poverty, persecution, death of loved ones) and blaming the sufferers for causing their suffering because they were not grateful for what they had. I suspect that the real message is to uncover blessings even in tragedies, although unfortunately this piece sounds as though people who experience misfortunes caused those misfortunes by having negative emotions.
Anonymous
Boston
January 14, 2013
As the saying goes "The problem isn't the problem. Your attitude about the problem is the problem."
Eric Sander Kingston
October 24, 2011
LOTS of things can go wrong but not
EVERYTHING. And, only SOMEtimes. We must remember to wear rain clothes in the rain, and not think it will ALWAYS be raining. The sun does, certainly, come out tomorrow. Sometimes, the sun comes out later in the day, in fact. Don't quit. Keep on struggling through your situations until the time you can, again, smile. I know, personally, it doesn't feel as though that moment will ever come, but it does. Look how many Holocaust survivors went on to get married and have families? Those are the people we must think of when we are prone to having a pity party for ourselves. Nu? Be happy. Even for one moment of one day, be happy. I have often faced death, going through harrowing experiences. Believe me, eventually, those become memories if you don't die from them.
Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell
Riverside, CA, USA
jewishriverside.com
October 23, 2011
Whew, everyone, Recently,
I found out that although I had been free of breast cancer for 8 years, I now have another lump under my armpit that is 3 cm plus other lymph node involvement. Next week I find out what kind of cancer it is and discuss the treatment. I am telling people IT WILL BE GOOD, and why? Because I WILL KNOW. It is better to know the situation than not know it. It's better to face it than deny it exists. I see it as a blessing because it was FOUND. In fact, even if I lose this race, I will still count it as a blessing. Why? Because I AM IN the race. Not hiding out or pretending nothing's wrong. Not paralyzed by fear or kvetching, What do I do with the tears that fall inside my heart? I DRAW, paint, do gardening and watch my fish swim in the small aquarium I have. I play Scrabble against robots on the computer. I am writing an autobiography and another book about how to lose weight and gain better habits. I go to a Sr. Citizen apt and cheer people up. That's what I do with my tears.
Karen Joyce Chaya Fradle Kleinman Bell
Riverside, CA, USA
jewishriverside.com
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