Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seeing the Good

My last post brought up some discussion and I wanted to share some thoughts of the back and forth with you.

Someone wanted to know how to reach that level of emunah-of knowing with such certainty that everything Hashem does is for the good. It’s something that takes a lot of work…a lifetime of work.

One thing I feel that has helped me get to that point (and I’m still working at it!) is to think back to different things that have happened in my life and that I’ve been through in my life and notice the good that came out of it.

There were things that were obviously good-from the beginning, like the schools I went to and the people I got to know while I was there. There are things like my year in seminary and I can truly say that my experiences there shaped me, molded me, changed me and helped me be the person I am today.

But then there are the less obvious things. Difficult things I would never have chosen to experience. I can look back at those things and know that there is good that came out of it. I am a different person because of those challenging times. There is no way I could be the person I am today if I haven’t gone through those things. I would never have asked for them but I can actually see some element of good that came out as a result of those experiences. They were painful for me, but I am a different me because of them.

Sometimes, I can actually see something intrinsically good that came as a result of the difficult times. Not just the person I am or became. Not just the changes inside me. There are things that happened that may not have happened had I not gone through the pain. There were difficult times that were catalysts for good changes in my life and the life of my family. Thinking about those things reinforces the belief that each thing that happens, every single thing Hashem puts me through, is for the good.

Looking back at the things that happened in my life, the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the comfortable and the uncomfortable, I can know with certainty that every single thing Hashem does is for the good. Sometimes I am blessed to see it and other times I cannot see. But recognizing the good that came out of the things I am aware of makes this knowledge enter the very fiber of my being and know it…really know it so deep inside me…that no matter what, whether I see it or I don’t, it is for the good.

But…with all this knowledge, do I think one day I will be able to thank Hashem for the difficult things I had to go through?

I don’t know. I just don’t know. I think it may be a madreiga of tzaddikim to be able to thank Hashem for the tough things they experienced. And that might be because they know with such clarity that every single thing is good, and even if it was hard, there were good things that came from it. Things like growth in their emunah, a deeper connection to Hashem or whatever other things THEY changed as a person. Maybe they have a deeper vision, a better understanding, or a rock solid emunah that I’m working to get.

But for me, whatever knowledge I do have doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a hard thing to go through. If I had a choice, maybe I’d play my life differently-so it’s a good thing I don’t have a choice! I know these things are good for me but am I thankful for the pain?

Yes, I know it’s for the good, and just working on that knowledge and internalizing it will take time…but being able to be thankful for it is another step…a step for greater people than me…and mayyybe one day I’ll reach that level. But for now, I’m allowing myself to be a human being. :-)

I do not ask for pain but when I am thrown into a difficult situation, I will do my best to slowly as I need to...and never stop climbing.


  1. "Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards"- Believe it or not I got this quote in my chinese fortune cookie but I have since used it to mold my attitudes and perspectives on life and emunah. I enjoyed reading your post and yes, it's a constant battle- when u think you mastered "emunah" Hashem throws you something that forces you to work on it all over again. But this is what life is about..

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, devoiry!!!
    It's so true that when a psn looks back at things that were hard and then they see the good that came out of it, it makes things easier to deal with to know that there is a reason for everything!! Everything that happens, is all part of a big picture. Before a person comes into the world, there were things that happened before he came, and when a psn leaves the world, there are things that happen after. A person can't always understand why dif things had to happen, because they are coming in mid of a big puzzle. When a person lives with the level of emunah that knowing everything has a reason whether good or seemingly bad, they live with a sense of purpose. And of course, its easier said than done, but a psn can always step up the ladder!! :)

  3. And i just wanted to add to that- that one day- when moshiach comes, we will see the ENTIRE picture, all the pieces of the puzzle will come together-and we will understand why things happened, and we will rejoice, we will laugh at the things we thought were bad. So when a psn knows there is a purpose for everything, they are living with the right mindset! Good Shabbos!! :)

  4. Anon-I actually got that same quote in a fortune cookie once and saved it for a while-until I emptied my wristlet! I LOVE that quote. It's so true. And what you said is pretty scary. When you think you mastered one level, Hashem throws something new at you so you are forced to work on it all over again. Life is about strengthening yourself and your connection to Hashem. For some reason, we are much quicker to remember Hashem when things are tough than when things are easy and smooth. It's the difficulties that force us to take a good hard look in the mirror and see where we are and where we want to get to...and work on getting there!

    Rivky-You are so right with everything you said. Especially the easier said than done part :) But it's true-there is a purpose for each thing we go through and we can't understand it all when we come into the world in middle of this long, drama-filled novel called life...we are just a short chapter in that book. But it helps to be able to read through some of the pages that have already been written and see some of the good, have some level of understanding for those "whys". And one day we will be able to see and understand the entire thing! May that day come soon...we've been waiting too long!

    1. wow, this is so amazing..... just today i was thinking that despite my pain and everything else my loss came with, it also did leave some good side affects!!!
      (i like it for 'my outlet', can i.....?!)
      thanks again and again!

    2. Beily-Thank you. Good side effects? Can you share some of those with me? It sounds like something I need to hear now.

      Hmmm...I need to think about that...and reread this post. Email me.

  5. Hi, I'm back!!!
    I had time today during class:) to think of an answer for u........ I'll sum it up in short. Although it may be a typical answer, I saw it in myself.
    My loss, and all the other "stuff" that come along as "side effects," how hard as it was/is, it did manage to bring out and prove to me my potentials that I never knew I possessed!!!

  6. Beily-I totally hear that. Challenges like the ones you experienced can definitely bring out a lot of hidden talents (you have those!) and help you learn things about yourself that you never knew before. I thought that you would have more practical things to say-like good things that came out of your loss, like, real things in your life that happened that would not have happened had you not gone through this painful experienced. I guess that's really what I was hoping to hear. :-)

    Because...when a loss is so painful and I am going through emotions that really hurt, it makes me think the big question of WHY? And when I can see something real and practical that came out of it, it soothes my insides and helps things feel somewhat better. I guess I'd call it clarity amidst confusion.

    But we don't always get to have that clarity. And we have to work on strengthening our belief through it all!

    1. sorry, i just am not ready yet to post those type of stuff on the blog!! and yes! i totally get and agree with all what u r saying!!!!

  7. Beily, I'm sorry for asking such a personal question here. You don't have to answer that in such a public forum if you don't feel comfortable with it.

    Thanks for all your comments!


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