Snapping out of Denial
Rabbi Tzadok Ha-Cohen from Lublin teaches that God doesn’t judge us for having bad middot (character traits), lusts and desires. These are all a part of who we are and how we were created. They are precisely the reason that we came down to this world, so we can fix them.
But, he says that a person brings harsh judgment down upon himself when he doesn’t introspect and recognize his own bad traits and lusts. We might say: “I learn Torah, I pray three times a day, I do Mitzvot, I fulfilled my purpose…” when really, we’re completely missing the point of our purpose in this world, which is to recognize and fix our bad traits and desires and to ask G-d save us from them.
The Torah and Mitzvot are merely the tools we’ve been given to achieve that goal.
All Hashem wants from us is to speak to Him with simplicity and to say: “My dear Father, I don’t want to live in denial anymore! I want to tell the truth! I have bad character traits and I desire this world and its lusts very much.
If not for You saving me, I would sink down to the level of an animal and forget that I am even a Jew. I am asking You to help me, and to save me from the evil inclination that lies in my heart.”
King David said to Hashem: “I have acted like an animal with You.”
King David recognized that he has desires and lusts, and he did not shy away from speaking out the truth. He knew that just by speaking out his “issues” to His Creator that this by itself would rectify His soul.
Once we recognize our faults and begin to snap out of our denial, the evil inclination will start telling us to be depressed and unhappy about who we really are. It will tell us: “Look at yourself, you are full of garbage. You’re a horrible person. Why bother trying to deal with all that bad inside of you?”
Rebbe Nachman teaches us that, on the contrary, now that we’ve recognized who we are and know the truth about ourselves, we should rejoice and be happy! Hashem gave us the opportunity to actually fix ourselves, instead of living our entire life in denial.
Once we speak the truth, we take away any harsh din (judgment) that hovered over us. As our sages teach us: “when you judge yourself down here, they don’t judge you up there.”
May we merit!