Counting the Omer – Day 32
Barukh ata Adonay, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sfirat ha-omer.
Blessed are You, Adonay our God, ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot and gives us this opportunity to count the Omer.
Today is day thirty two, which is four weeks and four days of the Omer. Hayom yom shloshim ve shtayim she hem arba’a shavuot ve arba’a yammim laOmer.
Today is Netzakh be Hod, victory within gratitude, conquest within humility
The problem with gratitude is that it makes one feel small, sometimes. I say, “thanks for taking care of that’ while I’m thinking “darn, I should have taken care of that myself! Why was I so lazy, or clumsy, or whatever it was that kept me from dealing with it?” It’s easier to say thank you when it’s something I cannot do or at least am not very good at. I don’t have as hard a time saying thank you to an accountant or a dentist or a notary who did a good job. I couldn’t have done it and I’m grateful to have the help. It’s harder, though, to say these same thanks for a task I could have and should have done, but didn’t. Of course, I can find excuses – but sometimes I realize that actually, it’s just that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to.
So, instead of feeling grateful, I feel down. I start feeling bad about myself and small and defeated. My gratitude just heightens the issues I’m facing and brings my faults in sharp relief. It’s what I do at that point that makes the difference, though. If I can actually be genuinely grateful, and instead of wallowing in self-blame, I can start making changes – if I can use that moment of realization as a wakeup call, then I can be doubly grateful to the person who took over. I can be grateful for the help and I can be grateful for the reminder. That’s the conquest – over self-pitty, self-blame, panic, defeat and all those other attitudes, that are actually antithetical to true humility. Within the gratitude, I can find victory when I realize that I can start doing the right thing, and use the help as a step up, not a knock down.
Today, when people help us with things we could have done, we are grateful both for the assistance and the opportunity to improve.