This week gives us a renewed appreciation for the power of our words.
The Zohar portion for this week states:
If someone spreads an evil name, all his limbs become defiled and he should be shut out, for his evil speech rises aloft and calls down an unclean Spirit on him, and he is defiled. He who intends to defile is defiled; by the deed below another one is roused.
Here lies a heavily coded message about the importance of speaking only positive words of Light. Speaking negatively disconnects us from the source of all fulfillment called the Light. The last time we were speaking negatively or trying to prove ourselves right in a heated argument, afterwards we probably felt quite drained. This is because positive words increase our Light and negative words cause us to lose it.
If it leaves us feeling so empty and disconnected, why do we still speak negatively – especially in times of weakness?
When a test comes, we may not perceive it as an opportunity and before we know it, out slips a little complaint. Speaking negatively does give us an immediate burst of energy, but always leaves darkness in its wake. Negative speech also indicates a lack of certainty in the process I need to go through. Perhaps we struggle with laziness or entitlement issues so we automatically perceive tests as a burden, when really they are opportunities for us to reveal the next level of our soul.
We all encounter problems, but we don’t need to get consumed by them. We need to focus on our dreams and have certainty that the Creator is the source of everything in our lives. If we have endless craving for the Light, like all of the master kabbalists throughout history have had, we will look forward to tests and challenges, using them to exercise restriction and change our destiny. Do the people around us really need to know about everything that happens to us? If we don’t like the movie we have the power to change it. Karen Berg once shared, “If we complain for no reason, the Creator will send us a reason to complain.”
To restrict speaking negatively about ‘something’ may be the very test that, if passed, will remove that ‘something’ from our life.
“I just have to tell someone about this” is often the first thought when things happen and we find it almost impossible to restrict. Especially with social media and texting it’s so easy to have a message immediately heard by someone else. We can all strive to reach a level where external things don’t affect us and we maintain a constant desire for the Light. It’s a question of accepting our challenges with total certainty that the Creator sent them, and then remaining silent. This, according to the kabbalists, is a great sign of humility and the first step to taking full responsibility for our lives.
Does this new commitment mean that, when something disturbing happens, we just ‘let it go’ completely?
My teacher Rav Berg mentioned the following in a class about this week: “If you are a person who says ‘I’m leaving it up to the Light, whatever happens is meant to be’, you have a small vessel. The more you want the better off you are, that is the reflection of a big vessel. The issue is how to get what you want. You should always want more, you just have to go through the process to get it and that process is sharing. In Kabbalah it is important to let go. Letting go is about letting go of the process, letting go of how you think things should come to you. That does not mean you should let go of your desire, just the process, just share!”
This sharing may be speaking more words of appreciation, or a paying a simple compliment to make someone’s day. This week we can all experience the power of positive words. We all use the phrase, but if the Creator is the source of everything, that means it really is ‘all good’.