I got nothing…
Doesn’t matter…. I’ll write anyway.
After keeping my promise to myself to post a weekly story and stumbling on this sort of nondescript title, I realized this nothing idea is closer to the truth than I initially thought.
Today I got the nothing part down; I don’t feel like I have anything innovative to share.
Yet the “nothing” carries tremendous comfort.
Recently, my trust and connection with G-d /Hashem has taken a big lift. Each morning, for the umpteenth time, I say a few things for which I am grateful. Despite my good intentions, it always feels like an exercise in rote recitation. A fill in the blank or check the boxes. I’ve known many people who swear by the value of practicing gratitude and it deeply affects their personal attitudes and perspective. For me, it’s just felt dutiful and un-impactful.
SUDDENLY IT’S DIFFERENT
The ritual however has not changed. When I wake up, I say Modeh Ani and then I add a short very basic gratitude list. Thank you G-d/Hashem for my eyesight, for my hearing, for my sense of touch, for the air conditioning…
Now, here’s the different thing. As I thank G-d, I’ve recently begun telling myself…
My eyesight is here, right this second, because G-d/Hashem is giving me the gift of sight right this second. My hearing is here right this second because Hashem right this second is gifting me with the ability to hear. Somehow I accept this as true.
And suddenly gratitude is not a platitude. It fills me. For just those few moments, I don’t take for granted this myriad of seemingly normal things (like the ability to walk, talk, see…) and I have a glimpse of their majesty.
I am nothing without G-d giving me all these things and renewing them every moment. A mind, a beating heart, and to the heart of the matter, a soul.
Shehechezarta Bi nishmati B’chemla…(G-d restores my soul to me one more day with kind mercy).
TO TIPPING THE WORLD?
I am taught our actions absolutely matter. With the brain, hands, and feet that we are given, we make a difference. Whether it is in the little condolence card we send that helps a bereaved acquaintance feel just a bit of comfort or saying hello with a smile to a curmudgeon co-worker, it matters.
Lest I get too caught up in my nothingness, I have this holy responsibility.
Baby steps are good.
nothing becomes something
in G-d’s hands.
Love, Vivi. ©
p.s. Here is the Modeh Ani morning prayer and an article from MyJewishLearning.com.
מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מלך חַי וְקַיָּם שֶהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ
Modeh ani l’fanecha, melech chai v’kayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati, b’chemla raba emunatecha
I thank You, living and enduring King, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness.
p.p.s. While we’re at it, remember this? Seinfeld – The pitch to NBC
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“You Can Tip The Scales” Video from Chabad.org, Nothing and Brown dog Photo from Canva.com, Dog in blue shirt Photo by Charles Deluvio, Train tracks Photo by Dirk Vetter, Red critter Photo by Christine Sponchia, Lion Photo by Birger Strahl, Toddler Photo by Reynardo Etenia Wongso