I kind of half-guessed that gratitude was coming up as the big spiritual work for this week, even before I went to look up what the week of Hod is all about, because the last couple of days I've been feeling pretty moany and complain-y again.
So I hit the first day of Hod, and I wondered to myself how on earth I'm meant to be grateful when that's the last thing I'm feeling at the moment?
On the way back from buying some eggs for breakfast from the corner store, God gave me some clues:
"Rivka, do you remember that time last year when you completely ran out of money and you couldn't even afford to buy groceries?"
Uhuh. How could I ever forget? It was one of the biggest tests of my life.
"Well, you did forget. Otherwise, you'd be feeling pretty darned happy right now that you bought those eggs without a second thought."
Hmmm. I could see where this was going.
"And Rivka; do you remember when you had a really bad pain in your leg and you were finding it hard to walk around, a few years' ago?"
Well, actually not until God mentioned it again…
"Isn't it great, that you could just walk up to the corner store, and not even give you legs a second thought? You want to go somewhere, and they take you. Isn't that amazing?"
Hmmm. Well, when you put it that way, yes it does sound pretty cool.
"Isn't it great that you're going back to a house with a husband, and your kids? And they're all amazing people. And it's a cosy house, even though you're only renting at the moment. Don't you think that's great, Rivka?"
At this point, I was climbing the stairs back to my cosy flat, with my eggs, and my healthy legs, and I got it: gratitude starts with going to back to basics.
The last few days, I've been getting stuck on the fact that most of my attempts to 'do' stuff are falling pretty flat at the moment, and it's been starting to get to me quite a bit.
This morning, God reminded me that true happiness and gratitude can be found in the small print, not just the big headline-grabbing external success stories that seem to be eluding me right now.
It was a great lesson; it put me in a much better mood; and I decided to pass it on to you, dear reader, in the hope that it will hopefully also help you to tap in to the true spiritual dimension of this week of Hod.