I am very much a glass half-full type person, and I find that life is better when I learn to look for and appreciate blessings all around me. And really, truth be told, I don’t have to look far, because the number of ways in which I am blessed is somewhat astounding. In a “pinch me, I don’t think this is real,” kind of way. I have friends who are like family to me, I have a family who loves and accepts me, I have a partner who truly is a partner in every sense of the word and stands by, unwavering in his support of this journey even when it doesn’t necessarily behoove him to do so, I am about to enter a profession that excites me and fills me with enthusiasm, I have my health back after a long struggle. It’s amazing how richly blessed I am, if only for the fact that something makes me laugh and smile each day.
So how does this all relate to blessings, other than the obvious?
Well, I’m a strong believer in the idea that what you put out comes back to you – maybe not immediately, but eventually, someday, somehow, we all get our just desserts. How tasty those desserts are depends on (I believe) the kind of person we have been.
This is a powerful thing to think about during Elul, as we try and take stock of ourselves and prepare to make amends. If we are honest with ourselves and truly try and change the less desirable parts of ourselves, or even frame things from a more positive standpoint and aim to do more (be involved in acts of chesed, step up our tzedakah giving, or work more earnestly in pursuit of tikkun olam), we send more good out into the world. And positive things multiply. To quote Dar Williams, “it echoes, all over the world.” And more good begets more blessings. And everyone ends up happier. And if the world is a happier place, maybe we have accomplished an act of chesed and come one step closer to repairing the world as we are commanded to do. And that is truly a blessing.