“A shell precedes the fruit, and whoever wants to eat the fruit must break through the shell… Before revelation, the soul must enter into exile, into their traits, in order to break them, and then attain a revelation.” (Likutei Moharan I: 36)
One way we can discover our special potential is by means of its very opposite. Sometimes we notice within ourselves an unusually bad habit — pride or anger, jealousy, envy or resentment towards others, or powerful and illicit desires. We must realize that when those around us irritate and annoy us, this is not accidental.
Within this very flaw that breaks forth from deep within us, lies our unique point that we must work on to cleanse it, purify it, and separate ourselves from its negative aspects. Then we can redeem it and raise it up, until it truly shines. Beneath the shell lies a fruit of exceptional taste and color. All we need to do is break through the outer shell and allow its potential to be revealed!
Based on In All Your Ways, Collected Discourses of Rabbi Yaakov Meir Schechter