I’ve been experimenting with various kinds of gratitude lists over the past month. Remember, last week I spoke of writing more details about what you are grateful for? This week, I’ve focused on being grateful for absences. What does that even mean, you ask? Let me explain.
Grateful For Absences
As I looked back on the year gone by and my plans for it, I am of course grateful all I got from it and for what did happen. I realized that I was more grateful what I did not get, and what had come as a result of not getting what I wanted.
Yes, the Universe had kindly said ‘no’ to somethings I wanted to happen, and I was forced to grow up in was I couldn’t have imagined or wished for. Yes, I had wished to grow during the year, but would never have taken the path by which growth come. It was because things didn’t go according to plan, that I learned very important lessons that helped me change and evolve.
When I didn’t get the emotional support and basic respect from my family of origin I was able to address several issues in my life. I was able to provide myself with what I needed and reach out to people who loved and respected me. It allowed me to let go of a long-held belief that I could not let go of family, in the way I needed to for my own personal and spiritual growth. While I continue to love them, I don’t ‘need’ them.
As a result, I learned that I was much stronger emotionally than I thought I was.
When I lost my mother this year, it was a great letting go. As I’ve mentioned before, we had a confusing relationship. I feel her absence every day. But through her passing, I no longer feel any resentment towards her. Almost every day, I remember some idiosyncrasy of hers or some smart remark she made (note to self – great idea for a post) and I laugh. Through her absence in person, I am better able to enjoy her presence in my life.
I suddenly realized how grateful I was for the absence of pain in my feet.
Then I started ticking off other absences for which I was grateful–
the absence of certain very difficult people in my life, the absence of feelings
of resentment toward those who have “wronged” me, the absence of feelings
of loss for relationships and things long gone–and on and on.
We have such a range of gratitude possibilities.
– Anne Wilson Schaef
We are taught to be grateful for what we have received and getting things we want. But let’s think about being grateful for what we don’t receive, what might have been taken from us. Let’s be grateful for the opportunities and blessings that absences bring our way.
What are the absences you are grateful for?