Moses said to the people: “I set before you today a blessing and a curse.” (Deuteronomy 11:26).
There is plenty to be happy about in the election results, and plenty to be sad about. Things could have been better for your side and things could have been worse.
Choose the blessing, the path is before you..
For those races you are sad about, mourn the loss and don’t lose sight of the big picture. You are part of something bigger than yourself. Stay determined and active. Avoid the lure from the Evil Inclination of bitterness, recrimination, and anger. Make the losses a blessing, by showing up in a wholehearted way. Follow the advice of the Good Inclination to strengthen relationships in your life.
For those races you are happy about, celebrate the win and don’t lose sight of the big picture. You are part of something bigger than yourself. Avoid the lure from the Evil Inclination of ego, gloating, and rationalization. Make these wins a blessing by being a gracious winner. Follow the advice of the Good Inclination and keep the door open to conversation and relationships with the other side.
Mussar Can Help You Choose The Blessing
Mussar teaches that each moment of every day we are faced with a choice between the blessing and the curse. It is easy on paper to choose the blessing. But the reality is that we are left with the same divisions we had before the election. This is where our practice can help us.
In Chesbon Ha’Nefesh, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Levin teaches that when we are faced with a challenge, we modify our focus phrase to “make it more stringent” (p 71). For example, a common phrase for Equanimity is “Rise above events that are inconsequential.” Instead, he suggests “Rise above the moods of your animal spirit so they do not destroy your equanimity” (ibid).”
I’ll be honest – this is hard for me. My animal spirit is trying to bring me down. But I can’t help but smile when I look at the joy in these two girls in the picture above. I am working to hold feelings of sadness about our national divide and “what might have been” and the opportunities for joy everyday.
Please share below: How are you trying to choose the blessing?
Having trouble finding the blessing in your life? Send me a message and let me know.