Is tension a good thing? How about nerves—do they have a purpose?
All around us, we see messages telling us to relax and lead stress-free lives. Yet at the same time we’re told life is all about growing and going beyond our natural selves. How can the two mindsets coexist?
Chassidic thought teaches that just as our lungs constantly alternate between pulling air in and pushing it out, so too our soul is constantly alternating between two directions. First up, wanting to cleave to the spiritual and break free from the confines of physicality, and then down, focusing on the purpose of our being here and looking to find physical expression of our spiritual being wherever we possibly can.
It seems one part of us should indeed be relaxed. After all, we know there’s a Creator of this world who is intimately involved with every detail of its existence! However, another part of us should feel a sort of unsettling feeling that we need to change, and we need to act now.
Only G-d knows the perfect middle path; our job is to question where it is.
Wishing you a meaningful and relaxing Shabbos,