Frustration

  • 20 August 2019
  • jewishfamily

What is one of the biggest problems in today’s society?  Of course anxiety probably tops the list. But I would venture to say the next issue is frustration. Today almost everyone is frustrated in life.  We are frustrated by things we want to do and cannot; by things we want to get or achieve, and cannot; by where we wish to live, but cannot; by what we want to have immediately, and cannot….the list goes on and on.

But perhaps our greatest source of frustration (and anxiety, for that matter) is the subconscious question of why Moshiach is not here yet. It bothers us on many levels. We realize we have done so much already and yet we have not achieved the desired result. Moshiach is still not here.

We know the Lubavitcher Rebbe told us that Moshiach’s coming is imminent and that we will be the last generation of galus and the first of geulah….but until it actually happens, we feel frustrated and anxious.

Are we somehow to blame for the fact that Moshiach is not here yet? Well, on some level yes. We all are. Any generation in which the Beis Hamikdash is not rebuilt is as if we destroyed it. So we all have a collective responsibility to bring Moshiach. We also have an individual responsibility to conduct our lives in such a way to do things that will hasten the geulah. So we have a lot on our plate.

And we see so much seemingly senseless suffering…so many questions and no answers. So many people are suffering deeply, on all levels, and have nobody to talk to or turn to. So many people are frustrated in life and have no solution; they don’t know how to handle the frustration.

So what is the solution? First of all, to realize whatever situation we are in is because Hashem put us in that situation. And every situation is an opportunity to grow and to serve Hashem.  And we need to try to add more simcha to our lives. When we feel happy, we generally do not feel frustrated. Frustration and anxiety are connected to depression and sadness. If we try to increase in joy, we will let go of a lot of frustration which is a negative emotional response.  And joy leads to positive action: to taking responsibility in life and being committed and decisive in a healthy manner.

Why do we become frustrated? It has a lot to do with our expectations in life. We expect such and such a thing to happen if we do such and such…when we do not see what we want happening in reality, it leads to frustration. So it is mostly to do with our expectations of what we think should be happening , or what we think we should be getting, or what we think we have to have….but when we put aside our own thoughts and desires, and we truly connect to G-d and try to see what He wants from us and what He wants us to do, then we will learn to live in the moment and try to make the best out of each opportunity.  Exiting the past, putting aside imagination of the future and learning to live in the moment is a very important part of getting rid of frustration. Most frustration stems from unfulfilled expectations or imagination.   

However, the only healthy anxiety is about Moshiach: we need to feel some level of anxiety to spur us on to do more to bring Moshiach. May we merit the geulah now! 

And since it is already after Tu B’Av may everyone merit a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetuka.