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On Listening to Our Inner Voice and Finding True Rest

By giving us true rest and a place for quiet contemplation, the sanctity of Shabbat can help us find that inner voice.
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February 5, 2021
Image by Sean Gladwell/Getty Images

Before the pandemic struck, our lives were very much defined by physical and visible activities. We ran around to meetings. We commuted to work. We went shopping. We schlepped everywhere, from gyms to restaurants to events.

This external noise subdued interior noise. We were too busy to seriously consider our deep inner voice.

The pandemic changed that equation. Suddenly, the running around evaporated. We didn’t just slow down—we came to a full stop. On the surface, it looked like an opportunity to rest.

But for many of us, the opposite happened. The elimination of exterior stress didn’t help us rest; it just transferred the stress inside. The exterior rest empowered inner unrest. Without the constant noise of our busy lives, our inner voices had room to breathe and speak up.

“For most of our lives we’ve been calmer inside,” Rabbi David Wolpe said this morning in his daily message. “During the pandemic we’ve been rushing around and anxious in our souls.”

This inner anxiety can be either a threat or an opportunity. If we suppress or deny it and just count the days until we get our old lives back, the inner stress may grow.

But if we use the slowing down as a chance to listen to our inner voices and embrace our deepest longings, we can come out ahead. If we engage in some “inner schlepping” to better understand and connect with our true selves, we can journey to a place of deeper fulfillment.

By giving us true rest and a place for quiet contemplation, the sanctity of Shabbat can help us find that inner voice.

By giving us true rest and a place for quiet contemplation, the sanctity of Shabbat can help us find that inner voice.

“Shabbat is coming,” Wolpe said. “It’s a time of peace inside, a time to find a quiet center, to breathe, to rest.”

Shabbat shalom.

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