I am reading Robinson Crusoe and I like the way he alternates during his time alone shipwrecked on an island for 28 years between feeling grateful, terrified and miserable.
When you can just forget yourself entirely then you can always be happy.
When you can be grateful for all there is to be grateful for, you can be happy.
Fear isn't a good one. It's a phantom. I like the way Robinson always realizes this but can't stop his terror in spite of understanding how ridiculous it is.
Misery - that's from wanting something you don't have. Maybe something you need.
Someone you need.
He goes back and forth between being thankful for his life and relative comforts - but his desire for a companion is so great. It is something he tells himself he does not need. He reads his Bible and prays and finds comfort there.
But whenever the possibility that he might gain companionship arises the desire he has for it also arises so strong you feel his agony.
Tomorrow is Passover. We feel the bitterness of slavery and the joy of freedom. We celebrate our deliverance from being slaves of man to being dedicated followers of G-d.
The quote is something like, "I am the Lord your G-d, who led you out of Egypt to be your G-d."
So many different kinds of Rabbis have said the same thing about praying that I am even now reading about in Robinson Crusoe.
It takes practice to talk to G-d. To pray, it takes practice. Talk to G-d every day, it's what he wants and he will talk back to you. There have been times in my life, mostly when I was a child, when this was so easy for me. But now when I talk to G-d I feel so far away it's like talking to a star I can't even see. But I'll keep trying. This is my waking nightmare that I hope will end soon.