Tranquility: Find an inner calmness; do not be overwhelmed; always act with deliberation
Ah, finally peace and quiet…or at least menucha, as Rav Yisrael would like to call it. I should keep this in mind at work when I feel overloaded, or better yet…erev Shabbos Kodesh (when the Yetzer Hora number one plan is to attack Shalom Bayis). This “inner calmness” is probably more that just chilling out. I think, for me, it means being “b’seder” with things, knowing that things will be fine. Even if a job interview doesn’t work out, or you get a dent in your car, or you kids spill paint on the floor, or decide to use a permanent marker on your computer monitor and several keys on your keyboard (this really happened once). Don’t lose that “inner calmness”. You can be vocally upset, but it need to be external. Rav Yisrael use to say to himself, “External anger, only” before rebuking others.
I, personally, know that there are times when I get overwhelmed and it seems like there’s just too much to do. As you can tell, the three phrases listed above are all connected. If I start out with a sense of balance within me, then it’s easier to keep my equilibrium. It could also mean some form of meditation. I won’t go into that, although Rav Salatner had several techiques he used. (I found Rabbi Kaplan’s Jewish Mediation to be rather user-friendly book on the subject. The last chapter actually is based on some mussar techniques.) Rav Yisrael was quoted as saying:
All worries are forbidden, except when one worries about his worrying.
From this I realized that when we get overwhelmed or panic stricken, I need to figure out what is the root cause of the lack of menucha. What am I really worried about? Once that is isolated, then it’s easier to go forward.
If I’m overwhelmed and my head is going in a thousand directions (which happens at times) how can I “always act with deliberation”? I can’t. Most people can’t. I must have that calmness and clarity when making decisions. The big decisions in life shouldn’t be made in haste, nor should I speak in haste. Whenever I do that, I tend to get in trouble with someone. Once again, these techniques are best exercised within the home. If you’ve got kids, they record, file, and cross-index everything they see you do. There are times when my kids, whom I love, seem to push the wrong buttons. I’ve been working on not getting too upset to quickly with them. This world operates on a Midah K’neged Midah basis.