Why is it that some people have the amazing capacity to ride the wave of pressure and stress and produce their best, while others, fold and buckle under the weight of identical circumstances?
We are good at describing the symptoms and giving it names such as ‘burnout’ ,’depression’, and more. And science is good at nominating its symptoms as unusual tiredness, disaffection from people and society, a feeling of unworthiness, and more.
It’s instructive to note that Judaism, and especially Chassidus, takes a broader macro perspective to prevent the symptoms in the first place. It basically teaches that sadness doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It arises in an ambience of ‘spiritual loneliness’. The antidotal words are Emunah and Bitachon.
Spiritual loneliness suggests a total reliance on self, being oblivious of any Other. And if the self is inadequate, down on itself, lacking esteem, then there is nothing to rely on for assistance. Helplessness and hopelessness ensue. Emunah means an ambience of belief that one is never alone – that there is always a ‘listening-Ear’ and a ‘seeing Eye’. Bitachon is the posture of trusting that the outcome of one’s efforts will be truly successful. And not just trust, but actually living that trust out and acting on it as a dynamic force in one’s life.
Self-belief is important but limits the forces of resilience to one. But partnering the infinite forces available from Above constitutes a much more powerful weapon to deal with adversity. Such a spiritual ambience holds the key to resilience.