As we age many thoughts flash through our minds. Obviously we begin to see life differently. We begin to see the end of things….we begin to realize what is important and what is not. In other words, we prioritize. We realize how much time we wasted.
We also wish to utilize our time in a productive fashion.
But sometimes as we age depression sets in: a feeling of regret for many things we were unable to accomplish and frustration for things we are no longer able to accomplish or do. We may feel regret for relationships that were not what we hoped for or for mistakes we feel we made.
However, that is because we fail to realize that everything we do in life is a gift from Hashem. It is only because He allows us to accomplish something are we actually able to do it. And therefore we should not feel regret. Whatever transpired in our lives up until this point was carefully guided from Above. Whatever happened was meant to happen: sometimes to test us , to get us to a higher level, and sometimes as a tikun, to rectify something.
And every challenge or set back or experience we went through was and still is a learning experience: a platform from which we can grow spiritually. Nothing is wasted.
And whatever we are still meant to accomplish will be according to Hashems will as well.
So depression has no place in a Jew’s life.
In fact, we know that the Shechina does not dwell in a place of sadness or despair.
And what greater purpose do we have than making a dwelling place in this lowest of worlds for Hashem?
Therefore we need to rid ourselves of sadness or depression at every step of the way.
And we need to use our energies to serve Hashem. When we are busy doing good and doing what Hashem wants there is no room for sadness or frustration.
Nevertheless sometimes a particular challenge can cause us to feel down. That is human nature.
We need to learn a lesson from the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Shmuel, the Rebbe Maharash.
His motto was “lchatchila arriber”. The world says that when confronted with an obstacle one should first try to go around it or under and only when all efforts fail one should go over, but the Rebbe Maharash said in the first place one should go over the obstacle as if it does not even exist. The Rebbe used to quote this very often. And in fact that was the attitude of the Rebbe; not to allow any obstacle or challenge to keep a person from fulfilling what he needs to do in his service of Hashem. And with that attitude the obstacles will actually disappear.
So let’s all try to apply this idea of l’chatchila arriber in our personal lives.