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Thought, speech, action

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

How do we express ourselves in this world? In our daily book of Tanya study, we have reached the point where the three garments worn by our souls are described, corresponding to our three forms of self-expression.

According to the Tanya, these three forms of self-expression are thought, speech, and action. We are supposed to be in control of them and not allow them to control us. Our task is to direct them exclusively into the realm of positivity: positive thoughts, positive words, and positive actions.

This mindset can be extremely beneficial to us since it emphasizes our capacity to determine whatever we  think, say, or do. Even if I have a tendency to get angry, for example,
it’s possible to stop the anger through correcting my habits of thought so that I do not verbally erupt much less act in an angry, out-of-control manner.

Ultimately, this is how to enter the domain of authentic living — through control of the thoughts in my head, the words that come out of my mouth, and the deeds the limbs of my body perform.

The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chasidic movement, gave us sound advice in this area: Try each morning, in our first waking moments, to pay special attention to our very first thoughts, words, and actions and make every effort that they are positive and optimistic.
It’s so easy to lose heart and to complain when we need to get out of bed, but if we
can properly channel our first waking moments, their positive and optimistic spirit will accompany us throughout the day.
Wishing everyone success in this endeavor.


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