Your Own Song
When you realize you have your own melody, you don't have to step to anyone else's cadence. You no longer compare yourself, or persecute yourself with questions...
by Dr. Zev Ballen
Every individual must find his or her own “melody” that G-d wants him to play in the world - that unique mix of special talents, abilities and character traits that will enable you to complete your unique mission in life. As soon as we internalize that no two people are the same, just as no two snowflakes are the same, we'll stop all the pointless comparisons to everyone else, and we'll understand that we need to be serving G-d in the way that best suits our individual personalities, and how He created us.
When you realize you have your own melody, you don't have to step to anyone else's cadence. You no longer compare yourself, or persecute yourself with questions that rob you of your confidence, self-image and inner peace.
Some of you may be thinking that this sounds exactly like the “do your own thing” mentality that's so prevalent in today's Western society. There's no question that G-d created us as individuals, and that we need to retain our individuality. But similarly, there's also no question that we have to be individuals who are part of a greater whole, or community, and who continue to do their very best to observe the Divine ordinances.
It's a package deal. Any emphasis on one part without the other simply won't work. If the two components are stripped from each other, you either end up with selfish, self-centered, animalistic individuals who are very far from the Divine ideal; or mindless religious robots, who are doing all the right things, and checking all the right boxes, at least externally, but are completely disconnected from their authentic selves, their Creator, and their true path in life.
So how can we find this special way, that's tailor-made for us? Only by doing an hour a day of personal prayer. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev writes that the practice of regular, daily personal prayer surpasses all others, because it is the greatest expression of your individual service to G-d.
Many people seem to have an inbuilt resistance to talking to G-d. They'll say they are too busy; they are too stressed; they are constantly being interrupted; they don't know what to say; they feel incredibly bored, stupid and frustrated; they just can't manage it, etc. etc. etc.
Whatever form it takes, whatever excuse it uses, this resistance to talking to G-d is really rooted in a fear of finding ourselves, and not liking what we find. Talking to G-d is not hard or onerous or impossible, because even if we only manage to say two words, that is still considered to be an act of personal prayer.
Talking to G-d is the way that G-d leads each person along the special path that is uniquely his, and that will lead to attaining his complete soul correction.
You won't find the directions to that path written down in a book; the words of personal prayer aren't written anywhere except on the walls of an individual's heart. There is no greater manifestation of individuality. It's not the beaten path of the masses; it's your own invigorating trail in an enchanted garden, where you are allowed – even encouraged – to sing your own song.
Dr. Zev Ballen, Psy.D. has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years. He is the founder and developer of Emuna Therapy, a faith-based method of counseling based exclusively on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush. Dr. Zev has the endorsements of Gadolei Yisrael such as the Nikolsburger Rebba, Rabbi Yitzchok Fagelstock, Rabbi Shalom Arush, and Rabbi Lazer Brody. You can write in with questions to Dr. Zev at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call him at: 845-362-8600 (US) or 054-840-9499 (Israel). Dr. Zev resides in Jerusalem, with his family, where he learns in Rav Arush’s Kollel and maintains a part-time private practice. You're also welcome to visit Dr. Zev's personal blog, Emuna Therapy.