I feel like I can somewhat divide myself into my BEFORE and my AFTER. The way I was 10 years ago (BEFORE) vs. the way I am now, and have been for about the past 5 years (my AFTER).
One of the symptoms of my BEFORE-mode was lots and lots of comparing.
Comparing the way I parent. Comparing the state of my house. Comparing the type of shlucha I was. Comparing my talents, or what I thought was the lack-there-of.
Needless to say, I was always the one coming up short.
BH, I have since worked through that tremendously and can confidently say I rarely fall into the compare and despair trap.
There are two components to how I did that, that I want to break down for you, so you can do it too…
BUT it gets way better than that.
In the Sefer, Toras Hashlichus, the Rebbe put into clear words and hadracha exactly these two components that I had worked so hard to internalize and apply to my life.
And I want that for you as well. You can apply this to your shlichus, whether that’s an official position, or your sphere of influence, or whether it’s your shlichus of mothering.
I am going to paraphrase it, BUT, I highly recommend that you look it up in the original and learn it yourself (See Toras HaShlichus pages 257 and 267).
Your avoda is TO DO. Not to make calculations, conclusions, or get down on yourself. NOT to decide if you’re successful or not. Evaluating success is not up to you. The fact that you’re DOING, engaging in your avoda (shlichus, mothering, impacting others - whatever it is for you), means you’re fulfilling Hashem’s Ratzon.
Simply put - Success is not ours to evaluate. Our job is to do and accomplish.
In my community shlichus, I apply this by realizing that my job is to bring yidden closer to Yiddishkeit, in whatever keli I think might help that best. NOT to compare numbers, or chitzonius of what events look like, or talents. JUST TO DO.
In my mothering shlichus, I apply this by staying away from future fears, non useful thoughts like, “How will my kids turn out?” or “Am I doing it “right”?” and instead focusing on what’s in front of me - the kinderlach that I have been entrusted with.
There’s a midrash that I’m not going to repeat here, where 3 separate times, Hashem responds to Moshe, “Eini Mevakesh … Elah LFi Kochan” - “I am only requesting what is in THEIR (the yidden’s) capabilities (not beyond that).”
This applies to your shlichus as well. Hashem is not asking you to do things that are BEYOND your capabilities. He wants YOUR abilities. YOUR talents. You have everything in you already to do the shlichus you were tasked with (again, whatever your specific tafkid is right now).
Simply put - YOUR abilities is what Hashem wants you to bring to your shlichus and your family.
In my community shlichus, I apply this by knowing full well where I shine, what I love doing, what my specific talents are, and then USING those in my shlichus, and not expecting myself to be “everything.”
In my mothering shlichus, I apply this by acknowledging that Hashem gave ME specifically to these children, and THESE specific children with their personalities, to me. Which means I already have everything it takes to mother them the way Hashem wants me to.
If you internalize and APPLY both of these concepts fully in your life, it will change everything for you too. I promise.