Frequently we are starting an endeavor and from the start we encounter strong resistance to our efforts,
not even from people but from circumstances around us.
Are those Obstacles the Sign from Above that we are on a wrong path and should use our resources differently?
or, may be otherwise, those obstacles are simply an opposition to holiness and should be fought tooth and nail until they are overcome ?
The answer depends on where the opposition comes from.
If the source of the opposition is our own soul, then we are on the wrong path and need to quickly re-route our efforts into other channels.
If however the source of the opposition is the Other side, one definitely needs to add more efforts to break through the obstacles no matter the cost!
The question is: how to distinguish between the two?
Simple but fool-proof answer is Tefilla, tefilla that is properly directed and not highjacked by the ego.
We need to divest ourselves from ego to the maximum and direct our prayer to empower our soul, asking to clarify the situation.
Our current goal in question should become completely irrelevant for us during this Tefillah, as our only desire should be to submit our will to One Above and channel our energy for our Soul’s disposal.
If after that we see the obstacles weaken or disappear, we know to add more efforts to achieve our goal and break the opposition.
If however, our soul was the source of the blockage, we will see clearly that the endeavor is to be abandoned.
To arrive to this clarity however the Tefillah has to be structured properly – under no circumstances we should pray for the obstacles to disappear on that first stage –
not even a hint of this desire should be in our Tefillah, or it can lead to misleading results.
After we had confirmed that our goal is positive from Hashem’s perspective, we can and should use Tefillah to achieve it with all our energy, with both physical and spiritual effort.
This principle is simple enough, however to actually apply it on a daily basis, we need to start seeing the situation in perspective.
We need to learn to stop before we throw all our resources against any opposition we meet,
being that people or circumstances, and check: do we really fight the right party ?
Do we have a hard time because our ego is having major fun here? Do we battle our own soul?
The above might look a bit simplistic since it doesn’t address the subconscious blocks and programs,
this topic however is for another post.