A continuing theme on living, expressing and understanding gratitude.
Back in the day, when I was a more acting actor, I remember a lesson someone shared… “Never read your own reviews.”
The idea had many levels to it… One being that you took so much time to create something personal… something that was specifically yours… and that reading a review might make you alter that…. deny your own creation.
It was also about which reviews you would then accept and acknowledge? The good or the bad? Surely you could not weigh one over the other… and if you believed one, wouldn’t you HAVE to believe the others?
It’s similar to changing yourself for an interview or a date. While there are often important lessons we must learn and things we must tweak or alter, depending on who stands before us, we need to be very careful about losing ourselves… giving parts of ourselves away… being ashamed of who we are… for the characteristics that one person dislikes may be the very same ones that get us the job… or the love of our life.
We must celebrate who we are, and where we are right now. And while we should always strive to improve, let us never stop loving ourselves… and being grateful for who we are and how we were created.
In a similar way, we must accept the fact that we do not know everything, and that things or events that may seem “bad” may not in fact be so in the long run. If we truly have faith… Emunah… then we must be grateful for both joy and adversity.
Believe me, this is not an easy concept and one I seem to constantly grapple with. There are days when I seem to be okay with this… and others when I raise up my hands up and shout to the heavens over lost keys… or something seemingly small and just a minor inconvenience.
But the great thing about this blog is that I often write it in the midst of a struggle… in the middle of trying to understand and figure things out… and… for hopefully better, you get to come along for the journey. I do not have answers, nor do I pretend to. I write from the heart and the mind, and often in a state of battle or even confusion… but always with the goal of sharing and trying to understand. And my hope is that my struggles and questions, help you with yours. This blog is a living, breathing give and take… a dialogue.
As I have said many times before, Judaism is about the exploration and questioning and struggling… It is part of what makes us feel we are an active part of Hashem… and how we are connected to and with Him. I never understood this until I was able to study with the right people… with the right Rabbis… those who do not dismiss my questions, but celebrate them.
No one said it was going to be easy! Though having faith definitely seems to come easier to some… for most of us, we need to study and learn and discuss.
For most of us, we have to breathe… focus… and really work on it. We have to give ourselves up to the unknown… We have to know that there are times we ARE being tested… to recognize that it is a test… and that Hashem only gives us tests He knows we can overcome.
We have to accept the idea that things that SEEM bad, may in fact NOT BE BAD. All will be revealed in its own time.
I cannot recall where I read this… and it may be a Rebbe Nachman thing… but try this exercise… and actually THANK Hashem for the irks and irritations and things you perceive as being “bad”. Thank Hashem for losing your keys… for NOT getting that job or date…
The thing is… we DON’T KNOW… We may think we do, but we don’t.
So let us be grateful for the things we DO have… let us be grateful for the things we want and ask for… as if we already have them… and let us be grateful for ALL the things that Hashem does. This is the true power of Faith and Emunah… and what will get us through these tests with sanity, happiness and flying colors.
So thanks… for everyone and every thing.