In this week's parsha, Vayeishev, we read about Yosef. Despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, and thrown into jail on false charges. An orphan, alone, in a foreign land. Yet you don't get the feeling that Yosef was depressed or down at all. He seems positive, able to rise above and succeed in every situation.
How is Yosef able to stay positive? How can we be like Yosef and stay positive?
There are several approaches one can take when knocked down with challenges. You can become a life long victim, the "woe is to me" mentality. This type of existence is a miserable one. Than there is the guy who can get up after being knocked down. Although this sounds admirable, it can be exhausting, and it is very difficult.
Then there is the "Yosef" approach. Yosef's paradigm was the key to his positive outlook. Yosef saw himself as part of Hashem's plan, he saw every situation as part of the plan. When you perceive the world from this perspective, every "so called" challenge, knock down, etc., is nothing more than part of the plan and therefore positive. You are therefore never knocked down to begin with.
Our perspective is the key to our happiness. When we only see ourselves, we are stuck with the difficulty of being knocked down, the pain, the hurt, the anguish, the suffering, etc.
However, when you see everything as part of Hashem's plan, every situation is seen as an opportunity. The crazier/stranger the situation, the more meaning could be found in it. Instead of being knocked down, you are uplifted.
It is not easy to get past ourselves, but by doing so, we can see things from Yosef's perspective. By seeing it all as part of Hashem's plan, we can overcome life's challenges.
I have so much faith in our ability to be like Yosef, and always know our challenges to be purposeful. To be able to lead with wisdom and grace. Yet we have too many challenges and we have seen too much pain. It is time for Hashem to let us all know how well we have done, and bring Moshiach now.