Reflecting on Our Blessings
“Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
We’re all affected, some teetering on the edge of hope, some finding the silver lining, some succumbing to fear, and some not even knowing yet how they’re affected. I’m remaining in the silver lining camp. It’s always the best way to raise your vibration. Finding that quiet, calm place and looking at the long term, bigger picture, the one in which I’m the creator of my universe.
I understand that it’s not easy to keep the positive focus in times of trouble. I understand that when the crap hits the fan, it’s less likely that one will reflect upon their plentiful blessings and not on misfortunes and the crap itself. In the midst of misfortune, it’s hard to accept that what goes down, must come up.
Charles Dickens’ quote above is very prescient. As a child, Charles’ family was moderately wealthy, but when Charles was 12 years old, his father was arrested and brought to debtor’s prison. After that, Charles had to go to work, 10 hour days with no child labor laws, and lived away from his family. Adversity overcome, focus on plenty. And still, he ended up describing these debtor’s prisons in his many of his books.
I don’t know if young Charles looked at his life back when he was 12 and thought, I’m so blessed. But he came to realize that there’s an ebb and flow to life (clearly indicated in the above quote and his life story).
This ebb and flow is part of all of our lives. If there were no ups and downs, how would we know when we felt anything? If it all just stayed static, there would be nothing to compare.
Most, if not all of us, have experienced the death of a loved one or a break up from a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, or a financial setback, or an illness or accident that we didn’t believe we could overcome. Maybe we even felt like whatever sadness or pain or fear we felt would never subside. But the fact that you’re reading this right now is an indication that you survived. And maybe even realized that when one door closes another one opens, as in, maybe the change or setback was only an incubation period and helped to make us more who we are, stronger, smarter, wealthier, happier.
I often think about one of my employees who was living in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina. She’s told me on several occasions that it was heart wrenching and traumatic, and yet, she’s happier now than she ever was in the south. She feels blessed with her friends and new town and especially with her new job.
The old cliché, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, while framed in a somewhat negative fashion, is really a very comforting thought. The current economic struggles we may be facing are uncomfortable, infuriating, frustrating, and they are not going to kill us. So the lucky outcome is that we’re going to be much stronger in the future.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland