I started this blog with one primary goal, to attempt to write more regularly. I figured if one person read a post and came back to read another (even if they didn’t make a comment) that would be enough of a push to write more. It worked. This blog also doubles as a good creative outlet and has kept me (for the most part) out of trouble. It has also given me a sense of false comfort that I’ve, somehow, serving a role in Knesses Yisrael. I’ll be the first to tell you that I know Hashem has more planned for me that my involvement in my chosen industry. Finding a way to bring that to life is a challenge for me. This blog is a good platform, but probably just one aspect of what I can do for our people.
That being written, I’d like to get some things off my chest. If you think I’m all into self-growth, it’s only when I’m comfortable with what’s sprouting. If you think I’m a nice guy, it depends on the time of day and how much patience I have. If you think I am constantly inspired, it’s only because I act the part. If you think I am truthful, I am guilty of lying to myself and others.
The battlefield of self-growth (in my case mussar) is full of faux-victories. Choosing not to scream at your kids or insult someone close to you isn’t so difficult, if you think before you speak and keep calm. We might ascribe the action (or in action) as a major battle, but really it isn’t. Unless you have a real Hulk-like temper and spend your day scream at others, then choosing not to scream, isn’t a real battle. It could be a ploy of the Yetzer or the Sitra Achra, but it isn’t a full scale battle royal.
Recently I’ve found myself in several “real” battlefields. Some I’ve navigated to on my own accord, others I have “run into” as tests. I’ve been forced to confront people and myself. Dealing with people is much easier for me than dealing with myself. I’m realizing that the really battle is with myself and I am extremely cunning. I thought that pulling an “Alter of Novardok” and staying in cabin not posting, à la perishus (separation) would help. Had it been the correct course, then you wouldn’t be reading this now. I guess a week was long enough.
I have a lot of thoughts about how I would respond to this…
I know that this wasn’t an effort to give all of us an opening to rush in with assurances and platitudes to balm your ego. This was an act of self disclosure that is often hindered when one steps out from behind the protective anonymity of the blog world and signs his full name at the bottom. For that alone, your post is noteworthy.
While it may not seem to you like there’s been any significant progress, the very fact that you can write something like “Choosing not to scream at your kids or insult someone close to you isn’t so difficult, if you think before you speak and keep calm.” shows quite the opposite: A)the recognition that it requires forethought and equanimity and B)that you have experienced the *relative ease* of holding back when exercising those two traits.
There are other examples in your post that illustrate this as well, but I don’t want to dwell on it.
The point is – not to minimize what you are trying to say – we all feel this way at some point or another in our lives in different areas of our lives. This “impostor effect” can be detrimental, but there are ways of getting rid of it, or even utilizing it for the good…
Thanks. I learned (and don’t always apply) when I was becoming observant that most of our friction and lack of “mentchlikeit” towards others is really due to simply not thinking. For example, if someone asks you to call them and you send an email or a text out of convenience then you have not really thought about what the other person requested from you.
Welcome back, Neil!
You have the freedom to say what you want to say as often or seldom as you like. Sometimes, you help us focus on things that are also our concerns, or should be. Sometimes (I hope) our feedback helps you in your quest.
Thanks, Bob. Feedback is always appreciated, even if it’s negative.
We should all be able to take what we read from blogs and apply then outside the blogosphere.