Being that my job requires me to work on a computer, it's naturally assumed by my family members and friends that I'm an all around computer maven, one that will certainly be able to save them from any PC related bug or disaster!

So it was that my dear friend and learning partner, Sara, phoned me one morning;

"Help, Save me!!!"

[Ok not quite- let's try that again.]

Sara: I have a technical question for you: I think I've deleted a program from my computer and I can't find the disk.

After a whole range of futile attempts to fix the problem, I offered to guide her through what's called a "system restore".

We are going to travel through time?Me: What we are going to do now is select a previous point in time when the program was still working for you, and then we will tell the computer to restore itself back to the way it was at that time.

Sara: You mean we are going to travel through time?

Me: Yep, you got it! Now pick a day…time…click next… etc.

Sara: My screen has gone blank!!!

Me: Yep, it's about to restart itself and then…

Sara: …and then I'll have a "new" and improved version of my operating system?

Ok so I thought I was taking Sara back in time, but for some reason she assumed we were going forward.

Well of course we were. We were actually experiencing the process that is described in Chassidic philosophy of having a descent in order to ascend even higher than before. In other words: the only way to fix her problem so she could move forward and continue working was to actually take a step backwards.

In truth, how do we truly move forward in life?

We learn, grow and develop often by taking a step back to square one.

Often via a temporary "descent" which helps to propel us upwards into the future.

As a baby learns to take his first steps, he will undoubtedly stumble and fall a number of times till he learns to keep his balance.

I will venture to say that in many ways we are all still "babies" learning to take our "first steps" in relation to the many facets of life we still haven't mastered.

We are all still "babies"We still make mistakes, we still get boo-boos. Here we thought we were mature adults who know everything—yet, how would we learn to be better if not for making those mistakes, which each serve as a valuable lesson in nurturing us and enabling us to grow?

So, getting back to our computer related troubles, we wonder sometimes: what went wrong? Why are we seeing that blue screen so well known to many in the world of Microsoft as "the blue screen of death"?

Borrowing from the IT-Information Technology analogy; We thought we had IT… We thought we made IT… We thought that was all there was to IT..

Only to find out we were far from IT…

"IT" being the programs and files of our life that we expected to always run smoothly without any bugs or viruses (swine or other).

What is IT with my diet that is no longer working?

What is IT that happened to my studies?

What is IT that I said that caused such a reaction?

IT is going to be alright I always used to hear myself saying, until IT crashed!

So obviously IT isn't working any more for a reason.

So let's do a system restore.

Let's go back, in our minds at least, to a time prior to when things crashed, to a time right before we embarked on the stage in life we thought we had already perfected. Back to the impetus, back to the inspiration—and lets try it again.

Or let's go back to the time prior to our "boo-boos" and evaluate what caused us to err, learning on our time-travels how not to repeat the same mistakes.

Effecting a positive change out of our negative experiences In the process of effecting a positive change out of our negative experiences we are indeed changing the "blue screen of death" to be in itself a cure for the "blues."

Remember, the word teshuva means return, which is the way we amend and restore ourselves, going back to our source.

Here's a little poem I wrote in one of my sappier moments:

If not for having been shamed,
I would not have attained tact
If not for having blundered,
I would not have learned to amend
If not for having lost,
I would not have gained
If not for having endured pain,
I would not have felt comforted
If not for having gone without,
I would not know what I had
If not for having been impetuous,
I would not have learned patience
If not for having been foolish,
I would not have attained wisdom
If not for all that, I would not have lived.

Oh and the computer issues?

Sara: It worked! You're my hero! (author's interpretation of what was said)


May each of us learn to be our own heroes—successfully restoring balance, compassion, and all the other things we need and want in the operating system of our lives.