Imagine you’re on the hunt for the perfect dining room table. You browse store after store, scanning for just the right piece to complete your home. Finally, you find something that meets all your requirements—it can expand to seat a larger party, it is aesthetically pleasing, and the chairs are comfortable enough. To top it all off, it’s on sale. Yet, you’re not crazy about it. Do you accept that this is probably the closest you will come to your dream dining room? Or do you hold out for better?
Life often presents similar dilemmas. We pray for what we want. Sometimes, our desires are fulfilled and we stand in awe of the miracles the Creator has brought to our lives. Though, sometimes, it seems the Creator has missed the mark. What few of us understand is that we can, from time to time, continue to pray and hold out for better. The Zohar tells us that the Shabbat of Va’era is a unique time when we can say to the Creator, “Thanks, but no thanks.” We have the choice to decline the Light being offered. “On the Shabbat of Va’era,” says Michael Berg, “we are given an opportunity to say no—even to something good—in order to ask for something better.”
We tend to accept what is handed to us because we do not realize that we can say no. We can implore the Creator for more. Deciding that something is not good enough, takes a certain amount of confidence. It can feel ungrateful to ask for more, as if we don’t appreciate all we have already received. Or sometimes we feel that we simply don’t deserve more and accept only what we receive. This is merely doubt in our abilities to achieve our dreams. The key to overcoming doubt and inviting even greater blessings into our lives is certainty. If a person does not have certainty that they deserve great blessings, great blessings cannot manifest.
How do we achieve certainty? “We do so by looking for the truth that lies beyond the mere appearance of things,” says Michael. Certainty is the knowledge that everything that happens in our lives comes directly from the Light of the Creator and everything is for our benefit—even difficulty. This means that even a blessing can be given in order to push us to grow. When we receive less than we expect, we can either accept it as is or view it as an opportunity to stretch our consciousness and ask for more. This requires that we overcome doubts and be certain in what we want, be focused and determined.
Doubt disconnects us from the Light of the Creator. Miracles are not actualized in our lives because we don’t believe that we can have more. Doubt leads to uncertainty and worry, which literally blocks the Light from manifesting blessings in our lives. According to Michael, “Every single one of us has many more blessings that have been prepared and are ready to manifest than we actually receive.” It is our job to ask for them.
This is our spiritual practice. For most of us, it does not come naturally. It’s work. Even if we keep our expectations high all year long, the Shabbat of Va’era pushes us to go one step further and ask for more. Slowly, with consciousness we can begin to cultivate certainty and likewise, the ability to continuously expect more.
Our expectations open the door to Light, more blessings and more miracles. Why settle for less? “When we see the world of greater possibilities,” explains Michael, “when we look beyond the surface to the greater truth that lies behind the veils of concealment, our doubts become certainty, and miracles become possible.”