Gam Zu L'Tova

I haven’t posted a bog in ages. Actually, I posted many a blog in November, just not in this blog. (Check out I was blogged out after that and couldn’t bring myself to blog in December. Now I’m not so blogged out, and I’m ready to blog again.

Much has happened. My husband lost his job. I missed out on two really big radio interviews. We put our little somewhat feral kitty to sleep. My daughter’s panic attacks have continued, maybe even worsened.

Oh, some good things have happened, too. We went to New York for a Thanksgiving family reunion. I received a tithe check from a church where I often speak. One of my book projects is being considered by a publishing house.

But somehow, it’s those bad things that are stuck in my head, and with them comes my struggle with a Kabbalistic teaching: Gam zu l’tovah. This, too, is for the best.

Sometimes it’s really hard to see why something that happens to us is for the best, at least in the moment when it is happening to us. When we look backwards after a time, often it’s easier to understand how that event was for the best, how it got us to a new – possibly better – place we might not have made it to otherwise. It’s harder to see these things when you are still so close to them, when you are still living them.

Now, I can see to some extent why my husbands lost job was for the best, but, on the other hand, I still have a hard time mustering clear vision on this particular event. He hated that job. It made him miserable. He needed to be out job hunting, and he wasn’t going to put his whole heart and all his effort into finding a new job as long as he stayed in that job. So, losing the job was a good thing. However, with no job, we, as a family, find ourselves in financial peril. I have a hard time seeing that as a good thing. Mind you, he’s doing some contract consulting work, which will keep us going for a while and gives him a feel for doing consulting work, but the fact that he doesn’t have a steady income represents a scary reality for us. Contract work only lasts so long. Our financial situation wasn’t so great before he lost his job, and he isn’t making as much as he was when he held down a full-time job. Plus, in the meantime, all my work has dried up as well leaving us, once again, dependent on his salary. It’s difficult to see this as a good thing.

It’s harder for me to see anything good about me missing two radio interviews. I could rationalize that I wasn’t ready for them. I almost paid for some media training for the second one – a great opportunity to be on a BBC World News talk show, but I didn’t because of my husband’s job situation. I was waiting for the interview to actually be scheduled – which never happened – before committing to the training. (Surprise, surprise. Anyone who knows anything about conscious creation (LOA) knows that I wasn’t focused on the interview happening but on it not happening. I didn’t trust that it would come true. I didn’t have faith.) I suppose that it could be a good thing the interview didn’t come through, because maybe without the media training I would have made a fool out of myself. After the first missed interview, my agent said, “Something better will come along,” and it did…and then it went away. I don’t yet see the good in that. Maybe one day I will. Maybe the BBC will call me up to speak about a topic I would prefer to speak on. As my husband said, “At least now they know who you are.” That is a good thing, but an interview under my belt would have been better. I wish my vision was clearer on this one.

As for putting the little kitty to sleep, I suppose the good in that was that we put her out of her misery – she was sick and possibly suffering at that point. And we then committed to the other kitty that had adopted us and totally adopted her. We took her for her vaccinations and allowed her to sleep in the house at night. Now we have a pet. We lost our dog last year and were left with these two cats – one feral and one our neighbor’s that decided she liked our house better. Now she is ours (Our neighbor is happy about that, by the way.), and we have a pet again.

I sometimes wonder about my books – why they haven’t yet been published. I suppose this too is for the best. I’ll understand why eventually. Maybe I haven’t really figured out how best to write them, what approach to take. Maybe as the years have gone by my perspective has changed enough to significantly improve how I will write them. Maybe for one of my projects that had a publisher and then lost a publisher the first one wasn’t the right one; this one considering the manuscript might be perfect. Maybe I didn’t have the time then to do what it would take to market and promote my books. Now my kids are older and I’ll have a bit more time. While I still find it hard to see how this is for the best, I can refocus my vision and find the good if I try.

I’ve wondered about my daughter – why she had to experience her best friend’s suicide last summer and now suffers from panic attacks. How could that be for good? I suppose one day we’ll know. Maybe she’ll help other people who lose friends to suicide. Maybe it will stop her from ever committing suicide herself. Maybe the fact that she has had to go into counseling for her attacks will giver her insight into herself she wouldn’t have otherwise gained at all or wouldn’t have gained until she was much older. It’s hard, though, to understand how a 15-year-old having to suffer such a tragedy can be for the best.

The issue, I believe, revolves around having faith even when we can’t know the reasons why something happens to us or to others. Faith requires trust. When we have faith, we don’t have to “see it to believe it.” We just believe it. We trust. We don’t have to understand it to believe it either. We just do. We have faith. And so, the Kabbalists said we must have faith that everything is happening just as it is supposed to happen. No matter what befalls us, we must trust that “gam zu l’tovah.” And one day, maybe the reason why will be revealed to us. Ken yehe ratzon. (May it be God’s will.)

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