People think that the Creator punishes us similar to how people are punished in this world: you do something bad and you get punished for it. But there is no such thing in spirituality. We create our own punishment whenever we don’t correct our will to enjoy in some respect. The lack of correction, or one’s desire that was not corrected at the level it should have been, turns into one’s punishment on the next level.
For example, say a student in the third grade didn’t study the way he should have, but he was still accepted into the fourth grade. Now, in the fourth grade, he needs all the material that he did not learn in the third grade in order to advance further. Therefore, he experiences difficulties and all kinds of problems in his study, which seems like a punishment to him.
But who set up this punishment for him? It was no one but himself: he brought this punishment along with him. And it keeps accumulating from one level to the next, like a snowball, eventually turning into such a heavy load that it becomes simply impossible to keep advancing with it. But there is no one to blame; all he should do is correct the past.
This is how all of humanity is feeling today. People are carrying the load of neglected corrections, which were not performed in time, and this is why the world is reaching a global crisis. Moreover, this situation has been programmed from Above.
Today, we must begin the correction. It no longer matters what situation we have gotten ourselves into, what we have gone through, and at which point we had been too lazy and neglected the corrections we had to make. Now, despite all the difficulties and heaviness, which only keep mounting, we have to start ascending and correcting the past. Indeed, the only way to correct the past is in the present.
(From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson)