Giving Thanks for 21 Blessings in DisguiseBy:
by Belinda Munoz
Editors’ Note: This guest post originally appeared on Belinda Munoz’s blog, The Halfway Point . We found Belinda’s list so inspiring, and are grateful to her for allowing us to republish the post in its entirety here. Let us know what small or in-disguise blessings you’re grateful for by leaving a comment below!
I’m feeling a bit off these days. Whatever it is, let’s call it existential anxiety of sorts. I’m battling a stubborn cold. My schedule is manageable and still I can’t manage to be with everyone I’d like to see. Somehow, I’m getting things done and yet I have a nagging sense of helplessness. In short, I’m not on my A game.
And I think I know why. I recently spent two consecutive nights with two remarkable individuals who put their lives on the line defending human rights in Ethiopia and Russia. They’ve seen in real life some of the worst offenses human beings do to each other. Violations I’ve only read about in books, seen in pictures, and never ever want to witness in person. And still, I’m shaken to the core and feel a bit powerless as I realize once again how little I do to help. The effect takes a little time to wear off. So I wait…
Has this ever happened to you? One day, you’re in charge of your life, the next, you’re knocked for a loop and balance lives light years away. So goes the story which I suspect we’ve all watched unravel in our own lives. The illusion of complete control is disturbed by the contingency of chaos. The chimera of confidence is whacked by a smidgen of skepticism. The bubble of safety bursts with a trace of a threat.
Really. It’s easy to give thanks for the blessings that we do have. Love, family, friends, bounty. These are the hugs and warmth and praises analogous to a soothing back rub or an aromatic cup of tea. For these, we are thankful daily. They make us feel good and we expect and receive them with little to no toll.
And then there are those things which do take a toll. A tax of sorts that leaves us a bit spent. A hefty fine collected at the gate that seemingly depletes our reserves. Our instincts caution us when we encounter things of dubious worth. We pay reluctantly for fear the sale isn’t worth the price.
Retail sales are easy to deal with. Psychological, emotional and spiritual purchases, not so much.
And yet, as we slog to the other side of existential bargaining, experience tells me we can come out okay. Because upon bearing the expense, we emerge tougher than ever. Able to be more, do more and imagine more beyond what is.
And so, in the spirit of gratefulness for blessings that aren’t readily seen as such, this Thanksgiving season, let us give thanks for the things that challenge us, unwanted things we have to confront, things we can’t avoid try as we might, and things that at