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Rav Berg taught, many years ago, that within this week’s energy lies the secret of lasting fulfillment.
Just like the light bulb, we need a filament to enjoy lasting Light (spiritual fulfillment), which we gain when we use the power of restriction in our behavior.
Restriction, kabbalistically speaking, means to act differently than we would like to in a given moment and convert the negativity within us into something positive. For example: ‘I want to skip my job interview today because I’m terrified of committing to a new job,’ but despite the overwhelming fear I go to the interview anyway.
“By our conscious restriction we reveal Light”
- Rav Berg, Kabbalah for the Layman
Let’s apply this to the essential kabbalistic teaching of ‘Certainty’. When we have certainty about a particular decision we want to make, we feel fantastic! Everything is crystal clear: I know 100% it’s the right thing for me and therefore I feel happy.
Imagine if every step in our life came with automatic, natural and effortless certainty and clarity. Imagine making quick and easy decisions at every turn and not having to fight off even a single doubt or fear along the way!
Sounds great, sounds like life would be so much easier – but this is where the problem lies!
Real, lasting certainty can only be ours once we earn it, once we are tested for it and pass. We need to generate it through conscious restriction.
It is almost impossible to have certainty and take action while we have fears and doubts. Gaining certainty requires a tremendous amount of restriction. The greater the doubt or fear we overcome, the greater the Light and certainty revealed on the other side. For example, the more I get upset with someone, the more I can truly love them again after we reconcile. If I'm happy with the person the whole time, it’s not as powerful as transforming those negative feelings into positive ones.
If I never have any doubts or fears, I may feel better about myself, but then I lose the chance to practice restriction. It takes a brave soul to keep pushing in the face of doubt and fear, and Karen Berg, the Spiritual Director of The Kabbalah Centre, often reminds us that we do need to go down into the mud in order to elevate.
When do the most doubts come in? We can be 100% sure about something, then as the moment of truth approaches we’re suddenly not so sure anymore. Then we may feel bad, insecure, scared, embarrassed, or just lose the desire to act. But wait, just before we give into those doubts, it’s good to remember the following.
Being more spiritual doesn’t mean not having doubts and fears! Of course, we need to transform them – but it’s not a bad sign when they come up.
Assuming we are doing our spiritual work, an attack of doubts and fears shows us:
1. We are probably just about to have a huge breakthrough.
2. We are growing spiritually and therefore we can restrict in a heavier sense, testing our restriction of fears and doubts more and more every day.
How do we know if we are on the right track, making the right decisions and revealing Light along the way? If those doubts and fears pop up but we restrict them and keep going – then we are in business! Doubt and fear are clever lies conjured up by the ego and are just a test. True certainty and desire must be tested.
Of course, the goal is not to just have doubts all day long! Rav Berg would always say that ‘Total Certainty’ is the true goal, and this week we can start to see how those difficult moments in our life are a test to earn total certainty through restriction.
Doubt and fear become our spring board to higher levels of spirituality, as long as we remember to tell ourselves that it’s all just a test that I will pass with flying colors.