People have emotional breakdowns when their spiritual awareness breaks down. A person can only live a genuinely good life when he or she has spiritual awareness; that means living with emuna.
The way to cope with times of trouble and turbulence is to remind ourselves that Hashem is with us, and that everything He does is loving-kindness. The Kamarna Rebbe says anyone who remembers during challenging times that Hashem is with him and that everything Hashem does is pure compassion invokes Divine compassion upon himself without even praying. A person who doesn't have this level of emuna is capable of mitigating stern judgments with profuse prayer, but he won't have the power to trigger salvations like the person who invokes Divine compassion can.
Rebbe Nachman describes the level of emuna that is capable of invoking Divine compassion and bringing about salvations: "When a person knows that everything that happens in his life is all for the best, this is tantamount to the World to Come" (Likutei Moharan I:4).
When it comes to the physical, it's easy for a person to hold on to the awareness that everything is for the best. He's happy when a pipe bursts in his bathroom, despite the inconvenience of calling the plumber and the expense of having it fixed, because he knows that this could very well be a substitute for a blood vessel bursting in his heart or brain, Heaven forbid. Yet, when it comes to spiritual things such as marital peace problems and children veering from the path, he can't rationalize with his brain how this can be for the best. Especially here, he must cast his intellect aside and cling to emuna.
If a person doesn't assess himself every day, he'll have difficulty attaining the emuna that everything is for the best. He starts blaming himself for the problems in his life and maybe even persecutes himself for not serving Hashem properly. This self-persecution leads to sadness and depression.
Before we do something, we try our best. We know that we're not supposed to veer even one millimeter from Torah. But once it's done, we know that the outcome was what Hashem decided. There's no need for self-persecution and blame, only for self-strengthening.
Self-persecution paralyzes a person. Once he falls into the depression that results from it, he cannot function.
There's only one way to avoid sadness, depression and self-blame: that is to know that everything comes from Hashem and that it's all for the best. This returns us the joy in life that gives us the power to win the war against the evil inclination.
When you believe that Hashem is with you, you can thank Him for everything. The more you thank Him, the more you'll strengthen your emuna. The more you strengthen emuna, the more you'll believe that Hashem is with you. This is a beautiful upward spiral.
Until a person believes that everything Hashem does is utter compassion, he won't see salvation to his problem. As we said, with extensive prayer, he'll mitigate stern judgments and the problem will lighten up, but he won't see full salvation. This explains why many people claim that they say thank You to Hashem, but they haven't yet seen salvations. What are they doing wrong? They're doing nothing wrong, but they don't yet feel that everything is pure Divine compassion from a loving Father in Heaven.
Teshuva is the greatest gift in the world. Teshuva not only erases punishments but also invokes rewards.
For a person with the level of emuna where he knows that everything is complete Divine compassion, nature is a miracle and miracles are natural; there's no difference to such a person between what's natural and what's miraculous. Without such a level of emuna, a person submits to the forces of nature. Emuna overrides them – all of them.
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