On Purim, my husband and I went to drop off some food for someone in need. When I got there I realized that although I had brought challah, fish, chicken and kugel, I had left the chicken soup and kneidel at home. Because of the hectic nature of the day and being that we had to get ready for the Purim Seuda and it was Friday, it was impossible for us to go back home to get it. I exclaimed in disappointment to my husband about what a shame it was that I had forgotten the soup. He told me something amazing that I would be wise to imprint on my mind and heart.
The yetzer hora does exactly this to get us down. Instead of a person rejoicing in this incredible chesed that they did, the yetzer hora says, ”Yeah but you forgot the soup!” and tries to get you down. This is what Rebbe Nachman teaches us about atzvus (depression) and lev nishbar (having a broken heart). If you look at the situation with atzvus you think, “I forgot the soup and my chesed was not complete”. But if you look at it with a lev nishbar, a person would say, “ Wow! What a mitzvah I did! I dropped off challah, fish, chicken and kugel! I wish that I would have remembered the soup I would have gotten even more reward and it would have been an even bigger mitzvah! “
This can also help us in our struggles with working on our midos while raising our children. If I am working on not raising my voice at my children and succeed at speaking in a quiet voice all afternoon but then lose it at bedtime, I could easily fall into atzvus. This would make me think, “What is the point, I’ll never change. Look how I blew it.” And then I might just give up. But if you look at it with a lev nishbar you would think, “Thank you Hashem I controlled myself all afternoon and interacted with my children respectfully. Now I fell and I feel so bad that I didn’t hold myself back a little more and manage to speak kindly during bed time. But I can do it and I will try again tomorrow because imagine how sweet it will be when I succeed.
Feeling atzvus paralyzes you and brings you down. A lev nishbar empowers you and motivates you to grow.