Our inner selves reflect different aspects of who we are, or like to think we are. Our lover. Our banker. Our artist. Our bargainer. Our internalized parent. The proverbial inner child. The manifestor and the needy one.
This week Jacob blesses his sons with what range from character assessments to hopes for their future. Individually the blessings are interesting; as a group they encompass a useful and hopeful set to build a future upon.
What’s the point of blessings? It’s great to be smart, attractive, or athletic. But beyond making life easier or happier, what good do blessings do?
Blessings are somewhere between the best hits of elementary school (understanding things like how weather works), and the best of adulthood (falling in love, appreciating music, poetry, or wine). The discerning and savoring selves: your brain and sense of wonder dancing happily together. They’re also teachers and guides.
Blessings help you become clearer about who you are and what you’re here to do. Blessings help you get on with life with less fuss and grumbling.
Note: Blessings aren’t like shopping. You can get better or worse about using and appreciating your blessings. But you can’t trade them in for new or different ones, like you might a car. They’re gifts, not assets. They should inform your ability to do your karmic homework.
What you need to do more/less of, and when to start or stop doing so, isn’t a secret. Probably not to you. Certainly not to your guides, or even your friends and family (many of whom would be happy to tell you). Instead of waiting for an instruction manual, say Thanks and use your gifts. You’ll figure it out.
We don’t always use our blessings wisely. We get too ambitious, overshoot the mark. Or are too cautious, don’t try as hard as we should.
We have small triumphs, like mastering a new techno toy. And larger ones, like a better job or happier relationship. And we screw up. We learn from our failures, and sometimes get luckier than we ever though we could or even deserve. Favorite lines from Joan Baez, Life’s a thump ripe melon. So sweet and such a mess.
Blessings are what get us from one melon to the next. They’re somewhere between home base and everywhere you’ve always wanted to go.
I’m calling 2014 The Year of the Grand Experiment. Manifesting my lists of how I’d want to live if all my blessings were happily working synergistically, and I were truly honoring what I tell myself is important. Baseline reality: choices around time, money, food, and stuff. Deeper: spiritual practice, creativity, and emotional growth. Winnowing the cupboards and expanding the soul.
What a great week to meditate on your blessings. Don’t focus on things that come with worldly acclaim. Think about aspects of self that make you happiest to be you, and that offer clues and challenges about how to live your evolving life.
The next parts of Torah are about how to free yourself from what constrains you. Take some time now to think about how your blessings can illuminate the journey to your personal promised land.