Tanya Bits: A Little Dose of Wisdom for Daily Living

Bite-sized nuggets inspired from the Tanya

Realistic Expectations
We like when expectations are realistic. When things seem accessible. And we often feel so helpless when they are not.
A Perpetual Paradox
I feel the need to be altruistic, coupled with the need for self-preservation.
What’s Your Element?
Each of the four elements spiritually symbolizes a core character trait of the animal soul.
Infinite Worth
What really is the secret to a strong self-esteem?
A Feeling Is Born . . .
Do other people or situations actually cause our feelings? Or is it something internal that produces them?
Spiritual Wardrobe
It is love of G‑d that drives the fulfillment of His commands, and the awe of G‑d that allows one to refrain from doing what is forbidden.
A Holy Hug
Can you imagine approaching G‑d and hugging Him? Like, really embracing His essence? Is such an encounter even possible?
Digesting G-d
When one learns Torah, the mind is absorbing G‑d’s will and wisdom.
The ‘Other’ Wardrobe
90 percent of our thoughts, speech or action can go either way, expressing the G‑dly soul or the Animal soul.
Peeling the Fruit
Fruits and nuts aren’t the only things with a shell that has to be removed. Much of reality is covered in a shell, a layer that conceals the G‑dliness found in the world.
The Power of Reverse
As soon as you discover that you have derailed—and decide to get back and on track in serving G‑d with every physical act—you can retroactively insert a holy intention into any permissible action done without the express intention of serving G‑d.
When Good Intentions Fall Short
You may have all the good intentions in the world and may sincerely wish to make someone happy, but if you go against their express desire, they most definitely won’t be pleased.
Your Opponent . . . Not Really
Your G‑dly soul tries to assert itself over your body. Your animal soul swoops in like a medieval king fighting for territory, desperately trying to win over those very same thoughts, speech and actions. It’s an endless battle, and you are the battlefield.
Fundamentally Different
In order for us to understand which level we can strive for, we need to understand our limitations.
When the Animal Soul Wins the Battle, but Not the War
You could punch it, kick it, ignore it or wrestle with it, but it will never be defeated. This is the personality of the G‑dly soul, which never gives up the good fight against the animal soul.
Round-the-Clock Restraint
My mind can control my heart, and therefore, it is my greatest tool to assist me in the battle against the animal soul’s wants.
Defining ‘Right Size’
We sometimes find ourselves swinging from feelings of grandiosity to feelings of incompetency.
Relative Truth
Just because he does not fully succeed in his emotional perfection, that does not render his service of G‑d “untrue.”
Best Attempt
How could I contemplate eating something that my brain perceives as being repugnant?
A Spiritual Workout
“Just five more minutes,” I told myself, yet every turn of the pedal was strenuous, disproportionately harder than the entire 30-minute workout. The struggle was real.
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