What is your state of wellbeing? It may vary greatly between your physical and emotional state. To attain inner wellbeing requires a special effort which is well worth it.
If someone were to ask you to rate your overall well-being, what would you tell them? 1 to 10, are you a 7, are you a 9, are you a 5?
If someone would have asked me this question five years ago, I probably would have said an 8, a 9. Thank G‑d, I’m very healthy and my well being is fine.
But there was an incident which happened which made me consider my well being in a very different way. So I’m preparing this boy for his bar mitzvah and I get a call from an uncle of his who is living across on the other side of the country, the West Coast. And, Hi, how are you? He introduces himself on the phone, he’s this boy’s uncle, very nice. And you’re doing my nephew’s bar mitzvah?
Yes, I am. I’m very excited, looking forward to it.
And you’re going to do this and this type of a service?
Yes, I am.
And then he says, You’re not allowed to do that.
Wow, okay. I didn’t know what to do with that, it was like a blank statement. It wasn’t a discussion, he wasn’t asking a question. He made a statement.
Okay, I’m not allowed to do that. So you’re trying to tell me that I’m not allowed to do this?
And he says, Yes.
And I tell him, Well, you know, from what vantage point are you ordering me not to do this, as an uncle, as a Rabbi, as a representative of G‑d? I mean, where is this coming from?
And he says, you’re not allowed to do that. Everyone knows you can’t do that. You can’t do such and such a service.
Ultimately, I said, Thank you very much for sharing your opinion, is there anything else that you would like to add? And he said, No. I just want you to know that you’re not allowed to do it. And I said, thank you very much, and I hung up. And the next time I saw him was at the bar mitzvah.
But here is the thing, when I hung up the phone, I was actually stressed from this call. I was actually stressed. And I was ‑‑ you know, it was strange to me because I was reflecting and I’m thinking, like, this man has a problem with what I’m doing, I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing, there’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing, he’s got the problem and I’m the one who is stressed. And then I realized that while I may be physically healthy, when my stress levels can be affected by stimuli around me so easily, I’m really not in a very good state of well being. And suddenly I realize that maybe if someone were to ask me this, maybe I’d say my overall well being is at a 5 because I can be affected very easily by all of these things that are going on around me and raising my stress. And we all know what a significant role stress plays in all types of illness, whether bringing on an illness, G‑d forbid, or slowing down our recovery from an illness because we are stressed.
And so our emotional, our spiritual, our intellectual state of being has a lot to do with how well we function, how our well being is.
And so that’s when I realized that it’s so important for me, for anyone, to put our lives, our view of ourself, our view of the world, of things that happen into a healthy perspective in order for us to have a very sound well being.