We are often told to watch our thoughts or to change our thoughts so we can create what we want in life. I’ve often written here on this blog that I do, indeed, believe our thoughts are creative. I’ve also said that we can’t just think our way to manifesting what we want.
Yes, occasionally, we think something and almost magically, that which we want appears–especially if we attached a lot of positive feeling to that thought. Some might say this happens if we pray hard enough–if we put God in the picture.
In this case, we add in faith. We ask for God to play a role in our lives, to answer our prayers, to create miracles for us. Judaism calls this bittachon, or trust in God. The Hebrew word comes from the root that means, “to lean on,” and “to feel secure and safe or confident.”
Here’s the key, though. According to some Hebrew scholars bittachon has two components: active trust, which means you act but with faith, and passive trust, which means that God meets you halfway and helps you. I want to stress the first–active trust because I believe that when we think good thoughts and do good deeds–those that both support what we desire and support others in the process, we create good things, including those we desire. What that really means is that when we thing good thoughts with active faith God does, indeed, meet us halfway. This may not happen, however, if we only think good thoughts with passive trust.
I was thrilled recently to learn that the third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch taught that what we think is what we get. As the story goes, when one man asked Rabbi Mendel how to advise a man who was severely ill, the Rabbi said in Yiddish, “Tract gut, vet zain gut!” Translated, that means, “Think good and it will be good!”
I believe that The Rebbe didn’t mean for the man to simply think good thoughts alone. I’m sure he meant for him also to do good things to make himself well–and to do this with faith. (And if he had the ability to do good for others, too, even better.)
If you think good thoughts, and do good deeds–and have faith, it’s as if you are reaching up to God. And you find that God’s hand reaches down to meet you in miraculous ways. You create–or co-create–good things.