Make a real and honest effort to focus on what you have, instead of what you don’t have.
Of course it’s not easy. We typically whine and complain about how terrible our lives are.
Stop the pity party and start singing a different tune. Turn to G-d, and be grateful for all that He’s given you.
If you feel the need to grumble just stop and think of one thing to be grateful for.
Forget About It!: Based on the Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and of His Student Rabbi Nossan of Breslov, by Mohorosh HaKodesh Breslov
Have you ever heard the expression, “Smile, though your heart is broken”? Seems odd? Doesn’t it seem more logical that if you‟re hurting, you should be sad and upset?
Our Sages tell us otherwise, “Whoever, is drawn to problems – problems are drawn to him” (Berachos, 63a).
Simply put, thinking about problems magnifies them; giving no thought to them, shrinks them.
So, you got a problem? Why not do the opposite; don’t think about it; forget about it, and be grateful!
Forget about It!: Based on the Teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and of His Student Rabbi Nossan of Breslov, by Mohorosh HaKodesh Breslov
The general principle is that one should always seek shalom (peace) – that there should be shalom among people; and there should be shalom in each person, that is to say, one should not be divided in one’s character traits irregardless of what happens in life.
Rather, there should be no difference to a person whether things are good or bad, for one will always find Hashem in it and should praise Him for it. As King David says: “With Hashem I will praise the matter, with Elokim I will praise the matter” (T’hillim 56:11). Even in the face of the attribute of judgment (Elokim) I will praise Him.
Rebbe Nachman, Likutei Moharan I: 33, as cited in The Inner Stream Torah Insights on the Parsha of the Week, by Mohorosh of Heichal HaKodesh Breslov
By Yaakov Shmuel
Whenever we receive anything good or succeed in something, we need to say, “Thank You, Hashem!” This is called turning “I am” into “I am nothing.” Nothing is from me; all is from Hashem. Once we recognize that all of our success comes only from Hashem and show Him gratitude, our success can continue. This light of gratitude brings us to humility, which brings us to happiness.
Based on From the Depths, by Rav Ofer Erez
Our feelings of constant ingratitude can blind us to Hashem’s good intentions in all the apparently negative circumstances that befall us. This is the “half empty cup syndrome,” where we fixate on the half that is empty and completely miss the half that is there.
Throughout world history, the root of all evil has been ingratitude. Adam was particularly ungrateful to Hashem after he sinned. “The woman who You gave me, gave it to me and I ate” (B’reishit 3:12). Adam could have simply said, “The woman gave it to me.” Why did he add, “who You gave me”? It is as if he was accusing Hashem, saying, “You are guilty for giving me this woman who constantly seduces me to sin…” Adam appears to have been blaming Hashem! He probably thought, “If You did a better job choosing whom to give me, I wouldn’t be in this mess now!”
From Adam until today, all of our sins, transgressions, crimes, and failures are simply the result of ingratitude. Rather than looking for all of the good things in our lives, we tend to focus on those things that do not appear so good.
A grateful person never complains and is never depressed. This person always feels true appreciating to Hashem and all others. This grateful individual especially recognizes all the good that Hashem has done, is doing, and will do in their life. And this person always says thank you.
We must strive to become this grateful person. May we each merit Hashem’s help in eradicating ingratitude from our hearts, so that we can become one who is always grateful to Hashem for all the good He does for us each day. This is how we rectify the sin of ingratitude that has caused so much pain and suffering throughout our lives and throughout history.
Based on The Garden of Gratitude, by Rabbi Shalom Arush
“If everyone would heed the true tzaddik, follow in his path, and steadfastly believe in Hashem — in particular, that everything that happens is for our ultimate good; if everyone would constantly give thanks and praise to Hashem, whether under good circumstances or not, as it is written, ‘In Hashem (expressing G-d’s attribute of loving-kindness) I will praise His word, in Elokim (expressing G-d’s attribute of judgment) I will praise His word,’ surely all the troubles and all the exiles would be completely nullified and the complete redemption would take place!”
Rabbi Natan of Breslov, Likutei Halakhot, Laws of Unloading and Loading, 4
This is a fundamental lesson that we must never forget, but should be engraved in our hearts! Rebbe Natan promises us that if we will express gratitude in all situations, our suffering and exile will be nullified and we will merit the complete redemption.
Since our present exile and its accompanied suffering all stem from Israel’s needless crying in the desert, as discussed in Still Crying, we must uproot and remove any blemish of ingratitude and self-pity. We must replace these bad character traits with thanks for, gratitude to, and praise of Hashem.
T’shuvat hamishkal (equivalent rectification) is using the principle of measure for measure in rectifying a misdeed. In order to rectify needless crying and self-pity, we must go to the opposite extreme and actually thank Hashem for our troubles! This is not a simple task, but does manifest our emuna that there is no bad at all, since Hashem does everything for our ultimate good.
We must strive to focus only on Hashem’s goodness in everything that happens to us. May we merit to reach such a level in emuna that we can express gratitude to Hashem in all situations.
Based on The Garden of Gratitude, by Rabbi Shalom Arush