HOW TO BE HAPPY
Today I woke up thinking about all the things I have to be happy about, and all the things I have to be sad about. And I thought to myself: which one will I choose to prioritize? The happy things or the sad ones? Well, being that it is the month of Adar I chose to go with the happy thoughts and put the sad ones on a back burner. (if it was the month of Av I probably would have focused more on the sad things…) In Adar we have a mitzvah , a commandment, to increase in happiness so the sad thoughts I knew were coming from an unholy place. I wanted to focus on the happy thoughts, on grateful thoughts.
But then I thought to myself: what is happiness? How do we really achieve it? How do we truly become grateful for whatever good we have without feeling sad about what we do not have?
It is work. Happiness does not usually just “happen”. It requires effort, thinking the right positive thoughts, becoming aware of and grateful for the blessings we have and choosing to focus on good rather than negativity.
Yes, there are times we are all truly joyous and we feel it from the inside out.
But for many of us, there are many challenges to that road to happiness. Many times, although we feel grateful for good, deep inside we feel upset for the hard times, the suffering, the things we don’t have and the things we feel we are missing.
The way to achieve happiness is to ignore those things that raise their ugly heads to oppose our happiness. How do we get rid of Amalek? Amelek in the spiritual realm is doubt. How do we get rid of doubts? Of those things that make us sad or take down our feeling of total trust in Hashem or make us doubt the miracles we experience in our lives every day?
Well, perhaps the only way is to realize those things are Amalek. They are not reality. They are simply there to oppose us and test our faith.
And we need to do as Tanya advises: to thunder against the forces of impurity, against our yetzer haras. Just like when the Jews in the midbar (the desert) doubted Hashems ability to bring them into the land of Israel and then Hashem told Moshe to relay a message: that He was angry with them and would surely bring them down and destroy them in the wilderness and not allow them to enter the land. When the Jews heard that they suddenly believed in Hashem. So what happened? The kelipa, the side of unholiness, was shattered,allowing the innate true nature of the jews to surface: their inborn faith in G-d.
So too now when anything challenges our faith, we need to thunder against it, to tell it how despicable it is and to push it away with two hands. To truly concentrate on the good we have and to try to see goodness within everything. Tanya says when a person accepts suffering with happiness, the harshness is sweetened and it will change to good that we can see and understand.
Sometimes we just need to ignore all doubts, not pay attention to them, and just go forward with happiness. Then the doubts fall away automatically. Sort of like bringing light into a dark room. The darkness is automatically nullified in the presence of light.
The media is a horrible tool for increasing doubts and destroying faith. The articles that are written sew in the subconscious mind doubts and insecurities. The media is truly from the side of unholiness and kelipa.
We need to remain focused: to stand up for Torah and Jewish values and truth. To realize Hashem is with us. To realize we have our faith as an inheritance and nothing can break that.
And when we realize that the only real truth is Torah, even if things in society or the world seem to challenge what Torah says, nevertheless in the long run Torah and truth will prevail because there is nothing besides Hashem. And His will and word will stand forever.
And we need to be His amabassadors in this world to bring truth to society and to destroy the “idols”, the false ideals that the non Jewish world seeks to promote. WE need to be the Avrahams of today, breaking the idols of the world.
And we need to do all this with SIMCHA. With happiness. Because that is the way to succeed.
The whole idea of Adar is to be happy. To increase in happiness. A Jew always should serve Hashem with happiness. But when we feel sad or down, we need to increase even more in happiness and then the sadness will fall away. Our mazal will shine. Things will change around. That is the idea of Adar.
And how to do that? To put on a mask. Just like on Purim we wear masks. We just have to keep smiling,whether we feel it or not. And eventually we will feel it. That mask will bring out our true essence. The true faith in Hashem. And the smile will eventually become real. We will become truly joyful and fulfill the idea of ivdu et Hashem bsimcha, serve G-d with joy.