“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”—Proverb of origin unknown.
Although this wise old proverb hints at the fact that we shouldn’t judge a gift by its monetary value, a few days ago I couldn’t help but come up with a slightly different interpretation for it.
A week ago, I woke up to a terrible head cold—sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, and all the necessary garnishes to make me feel utterly miserable. Not being a fan of medications unless absolutely necessary, I decided to treat myself to some of our old family recipes, enriched this time by the suggestion of an herbalist friend. I drank ginger tea throughout the day, in addition to several teaspoons of homemade Four Thieves Vinegar—for those who don’t know what it is, Four Thieves Vinegar is non-pasteurized vinegar in which certain herbs known for their anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties have been allowed to steep for six weeks.
True to my beliefs that a well-aligned spirit is meant to live in a healthy body, I also dedicated a little extra time to meditation, visualizing health and vigor even if I felt like death. I focused on illness being the illusion, and good health being my birthright.
Something worked. Although I’ve had good results with all the above mentioned methods I the past, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to fully heal from a nasty cold in twenty-four hours until now. When I first got out of bed the next day, I was slightly surprised that my body was not aching and the chills were gone, but as the day progressed, and all other symptoms began to completely subside by lunchtime, I questioned what had happened.
Old lore tells that a cold takes three days to come on, three days to stay, and three days to go; this cold, however, took the express train out of town. What killed it? Was it the vinegar, or the ginger, or, maybe, the meditations? Really, it could be any of those things or none of them at all, but what mattered is that I was no longer sick.
That’s when the proverb of the given horse flashed through my mind. One of our greatest blessings and curses is our never-ending necessity to question everything. We feel the compelling need to qualify and quantify everything, often looking for flaws that can confirm our doubts.
When we receive a blessing, we can’t just accept it for what it is; we need to find out who did what, why they did it, and how it happened; by doing so, we dilute our gratitude for the blessing received. If we ask for help getting out of a flood, it doesn’t matter if God Himself lowers His hand to pick us up, a neighbor comes with his fishing boat, or a large log happens to float by us at the right moment; what counts is that we are safe and should use our energy to send out vibes of gratitude rather than worrying about the technicalities leading to the gift.
I quickly wiped my own thoughts away, and thanked Spirit for the help, elated to feel healthy and inspired. Once again, believing truly saved the day.