In the time leading up to the fast of Tisha Be'av we do need to count our blessings and to not discount our 'curses' but don't give them too much attention. We need to say thank you to Hashem for the beauty and the good things in our lives.
There is the story of Rabbi Akiva viewing the desolation and destruction of the Beit hamikdash and he sees foxes frolicking around the ruins of the Holy of Holies and he bursts out in joyous laughter.
Here is a very interesting lesson on why Rabbi Akiva laughs in several situations that others might cry. It is from the Ohr Somech yeshiva website.
Rabbi Akiva teaches us joy through completeness with understanding the depth of Hashem's love for us. We have so far to go, but if we can only reflect a little of the love that Hashem has for us and extend that love to our fellow beings, this world will be a better place.
Rabbi Akiva laughed because he perceived the reality of the worlds and the illusionary nature of what we humans see as this world. He perceived truth which is far deeper than many of us want to go. For some to perceive such truths is akin to madness, but once you understand who is in control of the world and you allow that you are but a servant of a greater power with freedom of choice, which is paradoxical in some sense but not, you are able to develop a greater awareness of your mission or purpose for living.
The Torah is our guide and our truth. For in Torah is contained the living essence of G-D and a guide to living in a G-dly way. It is very simply the way to G-D and the way to do G-D's will in this world. Is it not so that both the Islamic and Christian religions take the basis of their religions from Judaism. This is no secret and yet being Jewish is not the easiest thing in the world. To be a light is to feel the heat. The wick that burns in the oil gives off heat but then in the act of giving light and even warmth to the world, it is not an action that is comfortable for the wick which is often consumed by the action of creating light and warmth. Such is the lot of a Jew in this existance. We have a holy purpose and in all things we need to strive to be and to fulfil our mission.
Thus let us each day count our blessings, especially in the days of mourning for the Temple, the holy house of Hashem in Jerusalem and let us strive to be holy and closer to Hashem no matter what the pain or heat. Let us count five blessings a day to thank Hashem for the goodness in our lives and really reflect on the goodness that has come from things that we may have perceived in a less positive light.
Today I thank Hashem for existing in these times just before Moishiach
. I thank Hashem for my wealth of different experiences, for my wisdom in seeing things in a positive light and my ability to see the hidden jokes of the universe and to laugh in the darkest time and to see the joys in the saddest times and to be able to see the positive in the tests that Hashem has given me which have made me a better person.
Someone once said to me that I should pray that G-D should stop testing me, but I had to disagree because if G-D were to stop testing us, would we not feel unloved? Can you imagine a life where everything happened just as we wanted it? I can't. It is like having a class that consistently wrote perfect essays with no errors and consistently got 100% - the whole class. Boring!!!!!
We each have our individual tests and we thank G-D for them. Everything in our lives is for a purpose and it is for us to find that purpose and live it to its fullest and to achieve our potential. We can do it. We just must have faith in ourselves and to thank G-D we are who we are and not someone else.
Thank you G-D. I love you and I do know you love me.
Blessings to everyone and love too.