We sometimes want to yell that at the top of our lungs—whether at a child, neighbor or that random person who cuts us off in traffic. In truth, however, do other people or situations actually cause our feelings? Or is it something internal that produces them?

In Chapter 3 of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe explains that it is our thought process and what we choose to focus on that will dictate whichDo other people or situations actually cause our feelings? feelings arise in our hearts. That means that our emotions are born not due to specific events, but due to how we process those events. The more we delve on a specific thought, the more that those corresponding emotions will develop in our heart. If we focus on how unjust a situation is or how inconsiderate a person is, then we are sure to feel the anger and resentment building up.

So what is the secret to feeling “holy” or to G‑dly feelings, such as love and awe of G‑d? Allowing our G‑dly soul to use its cognitive abilities to contemplate how great G‑d is. How He is literally the life force of every created being, and at the same time, so much more transcendent. How small we are in comparison to Him—to the point where we are nothing at all. These thoughts will naturally lead to feelings of awe and humility, as well as love towards a G‑d that gives us life and sustenance on a daily basis.

It turns out that our intellectual abilities are the Mom and Dad of the (hopefully) cute and desirable children: the emotions.

Tanya Bit: Which thought am I delving on, and which emotion is that giving birth to?

(Inspired from Chapter 3 of Tanya)