more life-fu

From yesterday's Hayom Yom:
Every soul has its particular avoda, in the areas of intellect and emotions, in accordance with that soul's nature and character. It is written: "From my foes have You given me wisdom"; from the evil tendencies one detects in his natural traits, he can become wise and know how to handle the correction of these traits, and how to subordinate his powers, in the service of G-d.
This is one of the lessons that really helped me to gain better control of my life. Find the places where your mitzwah observance is most lax, and put in the effort there. But there was another lesson I had to learn first:

I always had trouble with mussar, it always depressed me. Focusing on all of my failings only made me think the road to change was infinite. My solution to the problem was a little bit different. I started to find the good things I was doing, and do more of them. If I'm taking up all of my time with the good things where I'm successful, I've no time left to indulge my unfavorable tendancies.

Once I was able to focus on the good until I had no time left for the bad--a very Rebbe Nachman inspired avodah--Then I could start to introduce good versions of the practices I had eliminated because they were so poor.

This obviously doesn't mean stop doing mitzwoth that you aren't good at. Instead it means do more of the mitzwoth you are good at.

This adheres to סור מרע ועשה טוב - turn from evil and do good on two levels:
  1. It is very literally true, by doing good you are eliminating or turning from evil,
  2. And, by first eliminating the evil through doing good, you can later return to those evil acts and change them, channeling their energy into doing good actions based on the same desires.
(I guess this is sort of ridding yourself of Chametz (before Pesah!) by eating it versus burning it)


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