Curses & Blessings

photoI’ve been on a journey the past few months that has included reading the weekly portion of the Torah for the first time. As it turns out and as far as I am concerned, the Torah is the jewel in the crown of the self-help genre. But please don’t tell Madonna! Last week’s portion talked about receiving both a “blessing and a curse.” I never knew where that expression came from. Anyway, last night I checked into my next dwelling, now in Neve Tzdek, Tel Aviv. It is very clean, and nicely designed BUT having booked this space earlier in my travels, it lacks a couple personal requirements that have come to top my “must have” list after clean. For example, outdoor space, nature, view. I found myself regretting my choice, fantasizing over the “one I let get away,” looking at the pictures with longing, until I said STOP. Accept this and move on, I demanded. Then, as is my nature, I tried to find the blessing in it. And there are a couple significant blessings in having a lack of outer distractions as I continue my inner journey which involves, writing, learning, prayer and meditation.

But here is the rub. The blessing is only a blessing if I actually turn the “curse” into the blessing by allowing for the fruits of the blessing to manifest. It’s one thing to see lemons and know I can make them into lemonade. It’s another thing to actually make the lemonade.

My intention is to make the lemonade during this week in my nicely appointed subterranean bomb-shelter-like dwelling. Today is day one.

I recognize what I’m contending with is ridiculously minor considering the challenges of today’s world such as living in a war zone, or the birth of a child with severe difficulties. And certainly the death of a child can hardly be seen as a blessing though so much good has come from parents channeling their grief into positive action – not to say that all can or should.

Two and a half years ago I faced the beginning of the worse time of my life, with the death of my mother, my younger sister, and many painful collateral loses – all within a period of a few weeks. This became a slide downward for the next six months. I will leave it to say now two years later I have reached the happiest time in my life. It was without a doubt an “inside job.”

With all that said, as I allow myself to be led down a slowing deepening path, I have come to accept I have no idea what God’s plan is for me (the God of my understanding). My work is to be willing. To be willing. And then to be willing some more. A curse can be turned into a blessing with the right attitude.

Curses & Blessings.

Which brings me back to you, dear reader. What “curse” have you turned into a blessing? How can you apply this lesson to your life’s journey?