What is faith, emunah? What does it mean and how do we use it?
In the month of Cheshvan, we are learning to transform the darkness into light. We need to learn how to draw the light from within and bring it forth. After the abundant holidays and light in Tishrei, our daily lives can feel a little mundane. Life can become a little harder for us as we experience difficulties that cause us to turn off ‘autopilot’ and respond to challenges with new behavior and beliefs. A great way to elevate our month is by seeing the blessings in the little things. Turning the mundane into something special and finding what to be grateful for.
Part of our work this month is shown to us in Parshat Lech Lecha, Bereshit. Avraham was taken above the stars and was told by Hashem to count the stars and that from him, there will be a great nation. Although Avraham had no children, believed Him. Avraham at 100 years old and Sara was 90, Isaac was born.
Even during hardship, there is some light that we can focus on. There is some good in every situation but sometimes we just need to try a little harder to remove the distractions and see some good. Every hardship, challenge, and difficulty has a purpose. At that exact moment, we may not know it or see it, but there is. To have faith, to believe, and to trust, is the medicine that can carry us through the darkest parts of our life. When one lacks faith, it can cause tremendous anxiety and cycles of distress and this is from my own personal experience.
The more I lacked faith, it hijacked my creativity, I fell into dark places within my psyche, and the more I felt paralyzed about my situation. Over the years, I deeply worked on having faith and it gave me the ability to move forward. To find the strength to work harder and to even find creative ways to bring me out of any mess I was in. When I did not believe there was a purpose to my hardships, I felt there was no coming up from any situation. The more I practiced believing that everything is working out for me and taking action, the more creative I seemed to be and trusting in the way of the universe.
We learn from the story of Avraham when God came to him and told him not to fear because God is his shield. This teaches us, WE ALL have the shield of Hashem in our daily lives!
From Avraham, we learn what is faith. We learn to walk our path and trust in what we feel even when it doesn’t appear to be logical.
With tons of practice, trial, and error, I (sometimes) succeed at responding differently to adversity. When I do, I can feel how uncomfortable it is for me to change a behavior pattern and from that, I can feel the growth I have done. When I don’t succeed, I become humble knowing how much more I have to work on myself. In both situations, I am grateful for the opportunity to see how much I have grown. Both are a win-win.
To believe and have faith means you see the good and bad together as one. Despite what you see and experience, you believe everything is FOR you - even if in the moment it is hard to see.
By continuously reminding myself that everything happens for a good reason, my emotional state begins to regulate.
I can think clearly knowing that even though at the moment it is really, really hard, there is good coming from this. Even at times when I cannot achieve a calm state, I allow myself to feel the anger, disappointment, pain, and all the human feelings that come with difficulties because that too is sacred. I understand how limited I am and how hard that challenge is. I completely surrender while knowing Hashem can make good from this. In each challenge, we have an opportunity to reveal light. To transform our thoughts and mindset into a state that serves us. There is always a divine rhythm to what occurs. Luckily, we are granted many chances to do so. We are here to make mistakes, learn, heal, and bring more light into the world through our actions! The greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity to recognize there is a blessing in disguise for you to uncover.
From a Kabbalistic perspective - emunah אמן = 91 אבא ואבא = 26 + אדני = 65 = 91 וה = ז״א + ונוק׳ In essence, having אמונה and saying אמן is a zivug (a unification) of Hashem. In the section of Shema, there is a correlation between ZA and NUK. We learn that everything is ONE. For the full Kabbalistic lesson on emunah by Yamine (my teacher and father), click the button below