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Is the cup half empty or half full? Is the car blue or green? Is it a beautiful or dreary day?
We all see the world from a unique point of view. Two people can look at the exact same thing or witness the exact same event and walk away with completely different impressions. Who is right? What is the truth?
What we see or feel varies because we are all different. Sometimes the variances are small – like how one should pronounce ‘tomato’ – neither right nor wrong, just different. But other times the discrepancy results in missing opportunities or blessings the Creator has sent our way.
We view the world through our own individual lenses colored by our experiences and our egos. Kabbalists teach that our egos can prevent us from seeing things as they really are. The ego tends to draw our attention toward lack, encouraging us to focus on what is missing from our lives instead of the possibilities that lie ahead. There are always alternative views of a situation. It’s our job to stretch beyond the scope of our egos to see our own potential and the potential in others.
Why is this so important? The way we see the world is directly related to the way we live and interact with the world. When we focus on lack, it becomes even more difficult to see opportunities and blessings. In addition, it can become a habit. We feel a false sense of security from negativity; if we never expect blessings, we’ll never be disappointed when we don’t see them. But this downward spiral actually leads us away from blessings the Creator has in store for us and attracts negativity into our lives. And by focusing on what we don’t have, we become blind to the blessings we do have. “Although the Creator can be found in all things,” says Michael Berg, “the decision to look for Him lies in our hands.”
So, how do we begin to see what we are not even sure is there? Kabbalists teach that we should move through life as if we were blind. Assuming that we have the whole story leaves us closed-minded. The only thing it’s safe to assume is there is another point of view we haven’t yet considered. When we hit obstacles in life, it’s hard to see around them. A minor fender-bender adds hours of paperwork and phone calls to an already busy schedule. A common cold makes late-night studying for finals week nearly impossible. Unexpected traffic means arriving late to an important meeting. Kabbalists suggest we approach situations like these with ‘blind eyes,’ knowing there is always a blessing, an important lesson, or a positive opportunity hidden within a setback.
The truth is we understand very little about the spiritual world. By opening up to the possibility that we could be completely wrong about what we think is true, we are more likely to notice the work of the Creator, to notice the blessings around us, or to see a better solution to a problem. “Eventually, when we no longer question whether or not we are seeing the Hand of the Creator,” says Michael Berg, “when we acknowledge that absolutely every thought of a spiritual nature is a direct revelation from the Creator, we will begin to rise to the level of the prophets.”
It’s easy to feel stuck from time to time. Sometimes an opportunity is right in front of us, but we can’t see it because our spiritual sight is so limited. We need only step away and broaden our field of vision to see there is another way. Trust that the Creator will always guide you toward better things.
The world is full of blessings, each at the hand of the Creator, whether you see it or not. Opportunities cross our paths every day. By moving forward slowly, with eyes wide open and the knowledge that looks can be deceiving, we are more likely to see the great things we have the potential to achieve in this world.