How Your Possessions are Affecting Your Heart: http://www.iamsecond.com/2016/05/how-your-possessions-are-affecting-your-heart/
For most of my life, I have lived under the impression that my actions will follow my heart—that the things I treasured most would be reflected by my investments. As the saying goes, “You can tell what’s important to someone by looking at their calendar and checkbook.”
While I think there is some truth in that statement, over the past few years of pursuing minimalism, I have begun to notice that the inverse is probably even more true.
I find that my heart appears naturally drawn to the places where I have invested most.
It is not necessarily that my actions follow the desires of my heart. Instead, I find that my heart appears naturally drawn to the places where I have invested most.
It is a subtle distinction, but an important one.
Jesus said it like this, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Notice in his phrasing, it is our heart that follows our treasure.
This principle was profoundly etched in my mind the day my family and I went grocery shopping and left the store to find a fresh, large, white scrape across the passenger side of our maroon minivan.
The minivan was far from new. Yet, there was an immediate pit that emerged in my stomach over the wrong that had been committed. The driver kindly left us with no insurance or contact information, just a large noticeable scrape down the side of our vehicle. The distress was strengthened by the fact that I knew too well I was too cheap to ever get it repaired. The unsightly scratch would likely remain over the course of the van’s life.
My wife and I drove away in silence.
I began to reflect on the scratch and more importantly, how the incident had impacted me internally.
I found it interesting to consider the fact that if this same scrape had been left on my bicycle, I would not have been nearly as upset. And I couldn’t help but wonder why that was the case. Why did the action cut so deep into my stomach and heart? Why was a white scrape on my minivan causing such a heart-level response?
Our hearts always follow our greatest investments.
I realized I was so upset about this scrape because our vehicle was such a large investment. I had invested considerable money into buying it and time and energy caring for it. I wouldn’t mind if my son’s skateboard got a new scratch because… well, I didn’t have nearly as much treasure invested into it. But my vehicle was a huge investment (probably our second biggest) and because of that, my heart naturally gravitated toward it.
Where our treasures are, there our hearts will be also.
Our hearts always follow our greatest investments.
Whether it be our car, our house, our career, or our investment portfolio. We literally tie our hearts to certain things by the sheer amount of investment we put into them.
Unfortunately, too many of us are tying our hearts to the wrong things.
We are devoting our lives and tying our hearts to material possessions that will never last or bring us true joy. We shop for bigger houses, faster cars, trendier clothes and cooler technology. Subsequently, we invest so much of our time and energy into caring for them. But lasting fulfillment can never be tied to things that are temporal by nature.
Instead, we ought to invest our money, time, and lives into things that are truly important. Invest into your family, your friends, spiritual pursuits, or the causes that you believe in. As you do, you’ll notice your heart naturally begins to be drawn to them more and more.
The allure of materialism is hard to break.
As long as we live on earth surrounded by material possessions, keeping them in proper perspective is going to be a struggle. But we can begin to break its fascination in our lives by reminding ourselves that we are investing more than our dollars into them. We are tying our very hearts to them as well.
Invest your treasure into the things that matter most. Your heart will soon follow.
Posts Tagged ‘True Green’
How would you respond to sitting on an airplane, digging into the seat pocket in front of you, to discover that your complementary in-flight magazine was dedicated to caring for the environment?
Would you be thankful? Hopeful? Would you laugh? Would you sigh and say, “Well, I’m the one paying them to emit Carbon Dioxide- it’s very courteous of them to make an effort?” Or would you say, “This is, like, over-the-top obnoxious- is it possible to get more cynical than an airliner claiming to be a part of “The Eco-Movement?”
I ask because I found myself in this situation a few weeks ago, on my Continental flight from Pittsburgh to New York. Continental, it seems, has gone green, titling the September issue of Continental Magazine “True Green,” dedicating it to “People, Places and Products Driving the Eco-Movement,” including in it many references to Continental’s environmental accomplishments. I didn’t quite know how to react to this.
Now I didn’t say that I don’t believe Larry Kellner, Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines when he lists the company’s “Commitment to environmental responsibility” as a reason to fly Continental, but… well would you believe him?
Here’s the fun thing: Even if we don’t believe him, even if we think the whole thing completely outrageous, there’s something subtle, but important going on:
If I learned one thing in Community Based Social Marketing class, it’s that the most assured way for people to change their attitudes is for them to change their behavior, even just a little bit, and to publicly commit to sustaining those changes. Whether Continental is wholeheartedly pursuing green measures for the betterment of the world or playing lip service to the trendiness of being green, the fact that they’ve publicly committed themselves to the cause will likely impact their decisions in the future.
In Jewish tradition, we believe that Acharei Hapeulot, Nimshechot Halevavot, that “Our hearts follow our actions.” If I’m not feeling close to my community, my tradition tells me to go out and do something for the community. If I don’t care for the poor, I’m to give to the poor. We’re even commanded to help our enemies with the heavy loads they carry on their backs.
Our whole religious system, in fact, is based on action, or Halakhot. I’m not asked to fervently believe until I taste being immersed in action. As CBSM contends, I’m likely to feel connected to my community, compassionate on the poor, and to favor reconciliation with foes, when I pursue actions that connect me with them. Could there be a better way to make peace than to help my enemy carry his load?
Ultimately, it won’t make a difference if Mr. Kellner is an environmentalist stuck in the wrong business or a good businessman in a world of environmentalists. Save actually going green, which in Mr. Kellner’s business might mean finding another job, publicly committing to the environment is probably the greenest thing he could have done.
All we need to do is to hold him to his commitment.
?Why do we take chumros upon ourselves during aseres yimei teshuva? Are we trying to fool hashem
We sometimes do things because our Yetzer Hara, our desire, pushes us to act without seriously and honestly considering the consequences. The Torah tells us that it is good to create a bubble in time, a period during which you remind yourself that you do have will-power and you can resist your desires
reason for nezirus:hysical vanity focuses one's attention on himself to the detriment of others, and it inflames all physical desires. Also, a person who is conscious of his beauty might not put as much single minded effort into the study of Torah and Mussar. Vanity can impede growth in Torah, in middos, and in chesed. So the Torah says, grow your hair for thirty days, and perhaps you will look unkempt during that time,
****Perhaps the greatest enemy of spiritual and Torah growth is despair. So many people have given up on themselves! They don't always say it in so many words, but you see them all the time. They are bitter and unsympathetic, they sit there with the slichos and just stare off into the distance. They have decided that nothing they've tried has worked, they are failures in Ruchniyus and Gashmiyus, they are just losers. All they can do is go through the motions, because they are never going to get any better than they are. In the Slichos for Tzom Gedaliah it says
טכסת מקדם אלו ימים עשרה, יחיד בם לשוב ולמצוא כפרה, כל השנה כולה לרבים מסורה, לשוע ולענות בכל עת צוקה וצרה, מהר היחיד ושב בינתיים מוחלין לו, נואש ולא שב אין תקנה לעוולו, סדר וערך כל אילי נביות להועילו, עותר וצועק ואין שומע לו
Despair is a terrible problem. We feel bad for a person that despairs, but from the Pizmon we see that sometimes it's just an excuse- it's the way a person avoids doing what he really knows he can do. Sometimes, it practically paralyzes a person's initiative and saps his energy. Whatever it is, it is a terrible weapon of the yetzer hara. Seeing the dead causes greater despair- that person can't do anything any more, oh, what's the point in trying! But the truth is that as long as you're alive, you can grow, you can change, you can make a difference. All that you need is life and a decision to try, even if only to try something small. The only person that cannot do teshuva is the בן סורר ומורה, and a בן סורר ומורה never existed and never will exist. To help deal with the self-destructive trait of despair, the Nazir is told to spend a period of time focused on life. You are alive- you have been given the gift of life. Do something with the time you have! It's not too late for you.
Daily Lift #650
Repetition Makes it Real
If you want a concept to become part of your habitual thought process, keep repeating it to yourself again and again. Even though you might not gain a deeper understanding of the concept, the constant repetition enables you to internalize it until it becomes part of your own way of thinking.
The Talmud relates that Rabbi Prayda had a student who needed to hear a lesson 400 times until he comprehended it. Rabbi Moshe Rosenstein used to say that when it comes to elevating our attitudes, we are all the same as that student. If we sincerely want to integrate a new attitude, we need to repeat it over and over again. Even if a person is highly intelligent, unless he reviews the concepts hundreds of times, they will not be properly ingrained.
(see Daas Chochmah Umussar, vol.1, p.114; Darkai Mussar, p.60; Gateway to Happiness, p.69)
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד. (דברים ו, ד)
(בלחש:) בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד:
וְאָהַבְתָּ אֵת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכָל לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁךָ וּבְכָל מְאֹדֶךָ. ו וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ. ז וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ. ח וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת עַל יָדֶךָ וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ. ט וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל מְזוּזֹת
al levavecha-only comes afterwards into our hearts