Sometimes, life happens. You’re walking down the street with your new iPhone and drop it, only to find the glassWhen you are down, your defenses are down cracked, resembling a spider’s web. Or after many loyal years on the job, the new boss fires you. Or you simply don’t feel like you have energy to get out of bed in the morning.

These things don’t only affect your mood. When you are down, your defenses are down as well. And that affects your entire ability to manage your spiritual battlefront, making it easy to fall prey to the desires and temptations of the evil inclination.

So how do you conquer this?

In Chapter 26 of Tanya, the Alter Rebbe lays the foundation for how to overcome depression over real physical challenges. The premise is that a good G‑d can do only good, but sometimes that manifests as “revealed good” [what we like], and sometimes it manifests as “hidden good” [what we don’t like]. While “hidden good” appears negative or uncomfortable, it actually stems from a higher spiritual level, allowing a person to grow and feel a closeness to G‑d that is unattainable through “revealed good.”

If a person operates only on a material level, then it is devastating to receive a perceived blow. However, if one is in tune with their spirituality, then they can readjust their priorities and accept that even though this is not the reality they would have asked for, it can use be used as a springboard to connect to G‑d on a higher level. Since “The Most High abides in secrecy,” a deeper connection to G‑d is more available when individuals are presented with challenges; they can appreciate this as more meaningful than physical pleasures, as in the verse: “For Your lovingkindness (a relationship with G‑d) is better than life (physical good).”

It is for this reason that those who can be happy despite their problems are called “lovers of G‑d” and will receive a similar reward in the world to come in the form of a more open revelation of G‑dliness.

Tanya Bit: When a curve ball is thrown your way, it can either disrupt your life or enhance it. The difference is in your priorities and your perspective.

(Inspired from Chapter 26 of Tanya)