KEEP PUSHING ON
In life all of us go through difficult times. We understand it’s necessary to put our blood, sweat & tears into our work, and it completely makes sense that difficulties will be encountered as part of the process – after all, it is the process that builds character and promotes our growth as human beings – but what doesn’t make sense is when that moment arrives, when everything is meant to fall into place and our efforts are supposed to come to fruition, but instead nothing happens.
Imagine you have a major presentation for work; you spend hours grafting away, arduously and meticulously getting everything just the way you want it, but when the moment of truth arrives, nobody likes it. You start to doubt yourself in more ways than one. All this time and effort and all you have to show for it is disappointment? Does this sound familiar?
More than likely your consciousness will tell you, “I’ve worked so hard, it’s been a difficult process, it’s been challenging and now at the moment of completion it should be easy”, but in fact at the time when the hardship is meant to reveal the Light, it becomes even more difficult, embarrassing and things feel even darker than ever.
Not exactly how we thought it would go, or should go… but:
What happens next depends on us. The choice is always ours.
We have a choice. The reality is you’ve already been through a difficult process, which has only been followed by more difficulty; you can choose to either give up or you can keep pushing on.
There is a portion from Shmot in the book of Exodus, which highlights the will to endure. We learn about the difficult process Moses & Aaron experienced in the building of the tabernacle. Adding to that difficulty, the Israelites kept complaining and worrying about whether their efforts were a waste of time. Finally, on the first day of Aries once the tabernacle was completed; Moses, Aaron and the Israelites stood before it waiting to see what was going to happen, waiting for what would be revealed but that time came and nothing happened.
They had made all of the necessary arrangements to create the connections that needed to be made, but the awakening of great Light had not come to rest on the tabernacle or on the people and the land. Because of some of Aaron’s past actions, like his assistance in creating the golden calf, he felt he was to blame for the Light of the Creator not being revealed here. He literally said, “Moses, it’s not going to work. Nothing is happening because of me and because I fell. I cannot be a channel for this opening.” Nonetheless, Moses took Aaron into the tabernacle and begged the Creator to come & shine down.
In truth, they were so close to giving up in that moment. But instead chose to push one more inch, and with this inch the Light of the Creator came and rested on their work.
In our lives, there will be difficult times followed by more difficult times and we can either listen to our doubt, with thoughts like, “Wasn’t the difficult process I went through enough? And “Why is my trouble still continuing?” OR… we can open our vision because we never know when the last inch of pushing will allow us to reveal the Light – this is a big principle of Kabbalah – the idea that part of life is about experiencing a difficult process.
But in our reality, our day-to-day existence when we’re feeling stuck and disappointed we don’t remember the added component that often we will experience a difficult process followed by an inch of darkness before the light.
The Kotzker Rebbe shared this parable in regards to perseverance:
“When our souls descend into this world it’s brought down on a ladder. And as we’re born we fall off the ladder.”
He explains that our process in life is to leap toward the ladder and jump onto it.
There are some people who jump 10 times and then stop. Then there are some who jump 100 times and stop, and then there are those unique and special souls who keep jumping no matter what, against all odds, even at the 900th jump, the 1000th jump, or the 10,000th jump, even when they feel like giving up, they persevere. It doesn’t mean it isn’t hard for them, it just means that giving up is not an option. They keep pushing on because when you keep jumping eventually the Creator elevates you back onto that ladder.
In our minds we need to tell ourselves each and every day: JUMP ONE MORE TIME. This might be the ONE time to bring the Light of the Creator into our lives and elevate us back onto the ladder. Don’t be deterred by a perceived dead end, but rather have unwavering perseverance, because “Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds” ~ Orison Swett Marden.
When was the last time you experienced failure? Did you push onward or give up? Think of something in your life right now toward which you can give extra effort.