Thirty-five years ago, while I was pregnant with my fourth child, my good friend Ziva was on a visit from the States and shared with me that she had been studying Robert Fritz’s ideas about how to recreate the way you think and feel. To this day, I treasure some of the tools she imparted to me, particularly one that calls on you to write a daily list of ten results you want to create. Depending on what’s going on in my life at any given time, my list will look like this or that. There is, however, one result that I never fail to enumerate, and that is gratitude.
I cannot fail to let a day go by where I don’t remind myself to be aware of the neverending abundance of gifts the universe showers on me.
I look around at how much suffering there is in this world, whether it be expressed through poverty, illness, or war. Between those big topics are all kinds of mishaps and lousy breaks. I am privileged to be surrounded by people who love and appreciate me and give me constant opportunities to be a good person. I take nothing for granted, even those things that we normally would. I feel the universe is winking at me.
One example that I thought of just the other day is my car. The fact that I know how to drive a car, that I own a car, that I can pay for the gas, or that I even have somewhere to go is a reason to shout Hallelujah. It’s huge. If I were, God forbid, either emotionally or physically incapable of driving, I would have to find another means of transportation. That could be very arduous. I live in a village on the top of a hill and if I had to negotiate the walking and the bus ride to work every day, it could conceivably take two hours each way—two tiring, aggravating hours—as opposed to the current situation, which takes twenty minutes tops.
And during those twenty minutes, I have the glorious opportunity to listen to music, look out the window, and plan what I’m going to do when I get to work.
This choice is up to me. I know others, on the other hand, who are grateful for the availability of public transportation. More than that, they enjoy having set times they can devote to prayer, study, or even a little snooze. It all depends on how you look at what the universe is giving you.
My daughter Miriam Malka is a spiritual warrior in this area. She is grateful for everything that happens in her life. For her, this is a matter of her all-encompassing belief in G-d. This belief assures her that everything is part of a lesson for her own good, and therefore this is no reason not to accept it with love and gratitude. Even if she doesn’t understand the lesson right now, in the end, it will all make sense.
Regardless of whether you’re a big believer, irrespective of whether you are a staunch atheist, there is great merit in being appreciative of what you’ve got: the little gifts, the big gifts, the whole kit and caboodle. It’s good for your soul to be grateful.
It opens the heart. It softens your whole psychophysiology to pause for a moment and thank the universe for every good thing you’ve got going.