Tool for Tuesday: 10 Tools for Turning Your Lessons into Blessons

Sometimes we have to search hard to find the moonlight

Sometimes we have to search hard to find the moonlight

I first heard the term from Kristine Carlson: blessons. The difficult lessons in our life that might be blessings in deep disguise.
We don’t always understand why we’re faced with certain trials. We assume that the only end to the story is the one that we want. But life has a way of surprising us and sometimes the things we thought were the worst for us might be the very things we need to grow.
Life is a series of homework lessons that our soul needs to grow. It’s difficult to believe that when we’re in the middle of a crisis that doesn’t seem to end, but it is only through our difficulties that we reach enlightment.
There’s a quote in the Talmud that God gave Israel paradise but that is a gift that can only be acquired through pain and suffering. There are no shortcuts, sad to say. Each of us is given our lessons and it is our job to turn them into blessings. Hence, blessons.
But how do we do that? We have to be willing to take a step back from our problems to gain perspective and ask ourselves honestly:
What can I do to make this matter better? Here are nine suggestions:
1. Stop isolating and talk to a friend

2. Ask for help: not asking for help is like not asking what you think is a “dumb” question

3. Reach out and help someone else

4. Write in a journal, write a poem, a story, a letter you burn up in a deep healing ritual
exercise your soul through prayer and meditation

5. Exercise your body

6. Turn off the TV and stop watching that show which will leave you in the exact spot you were one hour before

7. Open a book that others–ones who have been through similar experiences–have written

8. Leave the kitchen, leave the bedroom, leave the laundry room, leave the house and go somewhere, a place where you feel connected to the earth, the moon, the stars.

9. Practice cognitive intervention: Every time you catch yourself picking up the old bone of resentment or bitterness or self-pity and chewing on it, force your mind to something positive. Why think about what you don’t like when you can gently nudge your mind toward something that you do? Our thoughts are sometimes just like habits that we’re not even aware of. Mental twitching. Use mental floss and get rid of those thoughts that are dragging you back down.

10. Remember that accepting a situation is not the same thing as approving a situation. You might not like it but you have to work on accepting the life that you’ve been given. And once you’ve accepted that, then you can decide what you can do about it.
Remember that you don’t have to stay in this hopeless place. Definitely, sit with loss. Grieve it. Feel the sadness as you close the chapter. That’s legitimate. But you’ll know when it’s time for you to turn today’s sorrow into the harvest of tomorrow.

Tool for Tuesday: Try turning your lessons into blessons.

What tools do you use to turn your lessons into blessings?

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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5 Responses to Tool for Tuesday: 10 Tools for Turning Your Lessons into Blessons

  1. Love that–turn your lessons to blessons. 🙂

  2. Again, you are the blesson, Diana.
    Thanks for these reminders and also the link to The Psychology of Spirit. Very good.

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