Everyone fails in different matters in life. It is part of the human condition. We are not created to be perfect. But many people go through life feeling guilty, worthless, constantly afraid of punishment etc. This is very stressful. It also is not the true path to connecting to G-d. G-d dwells in a place of joy, not sadness. Of course we need to know when we do something wrong and try to fix it….but with joy and enthusiasm, not with depression and feeling we are no good. That is a trick of the yetzer hara to cause us to become depressed. Depression has no place in the soul. We need to toss out the depression and introduce joy instead and optimism. We need to understand G-d loves us unconditionally and He understands us far more than we understand ourselves and HE is endlessly patient and kind. We can talk openly to Him and ask help to fix ourselves.
In our generation, we do not need to be chastised or made to feel guilty. We need to have positivity. That comes by adding in light. If there is extra darkness (even internal darkness), we need to bring in additional light and that by itself dispels the darkness. If we simply add more mitzvahs or increase our learning of Torah or our prayers, this in itself helps us to feel good about ourselves and to feel more connected to the Almighty.
We also need to bring in extra joy. If we try to give up things that we are addicted to or things that we feel we need in order to remain happy, it will be very hard to do so if we do not have something positive to substitute. But the healthiest way to break addictions or bad habits, is to add in more positive and happy matters. If we begin to feel happier and we also feel more gratitude in life, we will find it easier to free ourselves from negative things.
A happy person is always celebrating. We all probably know someone who is a simple, happy person, filled with gratitude and kindness. That is the type of person we need to strive to become.
This new year let us all try to improve our level of joy: to be happy in order to bring Moshiach. That should be our intention. And we need to free ourselves from our problems not through sadness and guilt, but rather through added joy and adding in good deeds, in doing more mitzvahs, in learning more Torah and in increasing light within ourselves and within the world. If we do not feel particularly joyous we can still pretend to feel joy: we can imagine ourselves smiling, we can actually laugh to ourselves and think of how we want things to be…..we then can start to feel happy because putting on a happy face leads to feeling happy inside. Push away negative thoughts. Push away despair and doubts and depression. Just start acting happy and watch how you will begin to feel happy. Create a new reality for yourself. The new year is the perfect time for a new beginning.
As we prepare ourselves for the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and Yom kippur , the day of atonement, let us make good new year resolutions to change our attitudes and look at life through a postive lens. Why is yom kippur called that? It is a day like purim (K’yom kippurim). in other words, on yom kippur we achieve forgiveness through fasting and prayer….but purim is even higher than yom kippur and we achieve atonement through joy. So we can understand the greatness of being joyous and serving G-d with joy.