Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a spotlight feature in a newsletter. It sounded kind of fun, so I agreed. I was asked questions about what I enjoy doing, what I have done, etc. While I was waiting for the interview, I started considering those questions. The fleeting thought that I had a very blessed life passed through my mind. During the interview, it was wonderful to be able to reminisce about what I’ve done and accomplished.
Thinking about the subject more after the interview had the most impact. One of Bill’s favorite hymns is “Count Your Blessings” – and this was an exercise in doing just that. More often than I should, I find myself thinking that I want to more like someone, have more money, belong to certain groups, do more of this, or less of that. Taking time to be quiet, settle yourself inside, and really look at your life is quite humbling. Invite your ego to step out of the experience and take a thorough look at your life.
It never fails to amaze me when I look back and see how two (or more) seemingly unrelated (at the time) life experiences were actually linked – perhaps one prepared me for the next; or one gave me the knowledge to lessen the impact of the next. Same with people – good and bad. Looking back, I can see that some people taught me wonderful and great things; while others – taught me some very hard lessons. Even those hard lessons are valuable – helps reinforce things like trust and respect, honesty and integrity. It also helps remind me how important those characteristics are not only to find in others, but to demonstrate in my own life. Those are traits that can bless others incredibly or have the power to wound and hurt with intensity.
As I was thinking about how rich my life is, I realized again that it is not things that have made me rich. It’s the people and experiences – good or bad. And yes, there have been some really bad times, dark times that I don’t talk about. Looking at them now, I see that even those times were blessings of a sort.
Grace and gratitude are abundant in my life, even when I choose not to see them. We do have a choice about that. We also have a choice about people and situations that encourage or discourage grace and blessings. I get really frustrated with myself when I realize that I am trying to be someone or something I am not in hopes of “fitting in” or garnering approval. I need to remember that when I feel compelled to start doing that – it is not worth it.
My blessings are right in front of me, each and every day. The people that are meant to be in my life won’t require me to be any more than I am at the moment. The places and situations that are meant to be will be there – they won’t need to be contrived.
The blessings and grace are always there – we just need to present and aware, open to opportunity and possibility, and free of preconceived notions.
Grace lesson – choose to be aware, and choose to be you!