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Recovery Blog

What Does G‑d Think of Me?

Staying alone in my head is like being behind enemy lines

July 26, 2010

Wow! It's hot! Although it's not the heat; it's the humility that gets to me.

What does G‑d think of me?

How should I know? I’m not G‑d!

The real question is: What do I think about myself?

It really depends on the day, on my mood, on a character defect, or even whether I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired (known as H.A.L.T.).

You see, when I am at the mercy of my negative thoughts, something strange happens. I become a genius—so much so that I have an unshakable knowing that my thoughts are “facts.” The facts are that I don’t measure up or that I am better than you or worse than you but never equal to you. This is what G‑d thinks of me as well. After all, isn’t it a fact?

I can become so sure that I “know” what G‑d thinks of me, that I can be called a supernatural mind reader! I believe that my thoughts must be G‑d’s thoughts. This can be serious—because if I know what G‑d thinks, then I am all knowing as well and that’s a tough load to carry. I tell my wife, that if she lived in my head she would be exhausted too... Being G‑d can really drain me. What I am really thinking is 'I am on my own' so I better control everything.

So what can I do to give G‑d back His job?

I need to get off my throne, and get some humility! I once heard that to have humility means to be open — open to the possibility that I might be wrong about something that I think — that I am so sure of. I think that even though I see myself in a certain light, that maybe — just maybe, G‑d sees me in a different light. Thinking that I may be wrong is the most right thought I can have.

I need to remain open to the idea that G‑d’s opinion of me is not what I am sure it must be. His thoughts are not my thoughts! So, when I ask myself questions like: Does G‑d find me valuable? Does G‑d love me for who I am? I can answer: Just because today I see myself in a certain negative way doesn’t mean that it’s G‑d’s truth.

I am obligated to strive to know that there is a G‑d and to know that I am an integral part of His divine cosmic plan. I am told that all I have to know is that there is a G‑d and that I am not Him. I also need to strive to prove certain ideas to be false. It is incumbent upon me to expose certain beliefs to be false, no matter how old or how certain they seem to appear.

Where can I get some humility to go? I can call a friend to get a humility check. Real humility is knowing who I am, knowing my strengths and weaknesses and appreciating how G‑d is doing for me what I can't do for myself. G‑d is the source of my strength regardless of what I think of myself. G‑d knows better. So my friend needs to tell me that while I might be a good guy I am no G‑d.

And, really, I have no business telling G‑d what to think. I can pray by asking G‑d to help me be open enough to see myself rightly. I say something like: Please G‑d help me see myself through Your eyes.

It’s my stinking thinking that is the problem to begin with. So getting out of my head is an essential strategic move towards humility. I must get out of my head. After all, if my thoughts at that moment are the enemy, then staying alone in my head is like being behind enemy lines.

Magnificent Magnifying Mind

June 1, 2010

I walked by a guy the other day and he had a look of disgust on his face. First I was mad – thinking, “Who does he think he is?” Then I got outraged – thinking, “Doesn’t he know who I am?” I joke with my kids saying, “Do you have any idea how important I am in my head? After all, I might not be much, but I am all that I think about.

It’s when I take another’s actions personally that I am concluding that he is wronging me, and that the target of his disrespect is me. That’s False Evidence Appearing Real - FEAR!! Probably his thoughts at the time of the crime have nothing whatsoever to do with me. Nevertheless, because of my fear of not being enough, I see his facial expression as showing his contempt towards me. After all, my “stinkin’ thinkin’” says that I am contemptible. My fear manifests itself through anger and outrage. I go into attack mode, usually internally, because “It’s a inside job!”

There is a way out of this painful way of walking through life — always reacting personally. Let’s go back to the scene of the assault and reenact it differently. So here comes “sour pus” heading my way. The Torah tells us that “It’s a mitzvah to pray for our every need.” My need at this moment is to put myself, and my character defect of self centeredness, in its proper place. Therefore, my prayer goes up saying, “Bless him! Change me.” I consider his possible need over my faulty fear. Each time I offer up this prayer, I not only don’t take it personally, I am freed from the grip of the insane message that I am a victim of a crime against Benyamin. G‑d answers my request because I got out of the way even if it's only a moment of humility.

So, the next time I am attacked by my own fear, I can take it to G‑d instead of taking it personally — by asking for the others to be blessed, I am being changed.

Contact your local Recovery Rabbi and join a Jewish Recovery Community:
Boca Raton, FL
Rabbi Meir Kessler
Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Mendel Cohen
Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Shais Taub
Montreal, Canada
Rabbi Benyamin Bresinger
New York, NY
Rabbi Yaakov Bankahalter
Reading, PA
Rabbi Yosef Lipsker
West Bloomfield, MI
Rabbi Yisrael Pinson
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