All day long, we get bombarded with negative messages, from the news to social media to the grumpy people we deal with at work. It isn’t easy keeping a positive mindset when we are constantly told that we should be afraid, angry, or upset. Yet, the kabbalists teach that a righteous person is someone who sees the Light in everything. How can we ever achieve that level?
"We might not always see the Creator's hand in everything, but we can know that it is there."
It’s no small task and takes a lifetime of work, but we can take small steps towards it every day. Here are 5 ways to start seeing the good in everything and everyone:
1. Look at obstacles as opportunities to grow.
Having true certainty in the Creator means knowing that every hardship we face is tailored specifically to help us grow. It’s hard to remember in the moments when things seem to be going wrong, but if we just pause and focus on the fact that even our difficulties come from the Creator, it can shift our perception. The problems we encounter are not meant to hurt us, but to give us a push in the right direction. They might be painful at first, but we can trust that they are teaching us valuable lessons and transforming us into better versions of ourselves. We might not always see the Creator's hand in everything, but we can know that it is there.
2. Understand there is a bigger picture.
When something goes wrong, we often see that event in a vacuum, forgetting that it plays into the larger story of our lives. How many times has something happened that you thought was the worst thing in the world, only to find out that it led you to something better than you could ever have imagined? For instance, going through a breakup might be painful, but it may also be what leads you to your soulmate!
3. Remember that negative thoughts are the real challenge.
When faced with difficulty, we tend to place the blame on another person, our environment, or even just bad luck. But if our spiritual work is to stay positive in the face of adversity, then the biggest hurdle that we encounter is our own negative thoughts. The more we understand this, the more we can transform the way we think by pushing back on our own negative thoughts. The next time you have thoughts of fear, anger, stress, or sadness, remember that those are the real enemy, not the circumstances that have provoked them!
4. Let go of your attachments.
We get upset when things don’t go our way, because we get very attached to our idea of how things should be. We think we know when and where things should happen and how people should behave. We forget, however, that we are not the ones in control and that we really don’t know best. That honor belongs only to the Creator. For example, if you meticulously plan a beach vacation and then it rains the whole week, you can choose to look at the trip as a complete failure or to see it as the way the Creator intended it to be. Who knows, maybe it’s the perfect time to read a book, study the Zohar, or simply spend some time indoors bonding more closely with friends.
5. Ask for the Creator’s help.
Having a constant positive outlook is not something we can accomplish on our own. We need the Creator’s assistance. When we ask the Creator to help us transform, He listens. This is an important part of daily process that we can so often forget, or take for granted. The Creator is always with us.
Usually in our spiritual work, we focus on our actions of sharing and kindness. And while they are important, the kabbalists stress that a positive mindset is even more vital to our transformation. It’s no easy task, but with the above tips and help from the Creator, we can start to see and experience the Light in everything.