"First tell me this: is there some secluded spot in the vicinity where I can go to pray?" Rebbe Nachman asked. He had just arrived in Breslov, the town whose name the Breslov movement has borne ever since.
"I know of a place that would be most suitable," the Hasid replied, "But it's quite far from here."
"Far?" the Rebbe exclaimed. "What do you mean by 'far'? Far from the mind...or from the heart?"
Rebbe Nachman later taught: When your heart yearns, distance is no obstacle.
From The Gentle WeaponTo Act is to make a conscious choice. When we act we are not merely being instinctual, or somehow sleepwalking as we do with so many of our behaviors. To act is to listen deeply to our hearts, to our souls, to our inner selves. To act is to brush away all the stories we tell ourselves, move aside all the self-made barriers. To act is to see the brokenness of our world not as a given, but as a choice. To act is to recognize the Divine in each person, including and especially the person who challenges us the most. To act is to reveal our real selves in the world, our most sacred selves, the self most responsive to God's call.
To act is to hear and head God's call from the wilderness.
Are all actions correct? Are all choices equal? Does acting necessarily lead to justice? We hope, we pray, but we also know it leads to error, to misunderstanding; we know we miss the mark. We know our actions sometimes harm rather than help, despite our best intentions. It is this knowledge that keeps us from acting, keeps us from choosing, holds us back.
When your heart yearns, distance is no obstacle.
What would our world look like if we allowed our hearts to yearn?
What would our world--our communities, our relationships--look like if we chose to act?