It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
One of my favorite teachers is Mathew Fox, whose book Original Blessing made probably the biggest impact on my life when I was really struggling around the holidays. My mentor, Margueritte, who bless her sweet heart was like Aunt Clara from Bewitched (for those of you who remember the dotty old witch whose spells sometimes landed her in a trash can, or she’d accidentally turn herself into a cat) handed this book to me along with the same author’s version of the Sermon on the Mount. The holidays seemed to trigger all my low self-worth buttons and behaviors, and all she said to me when she gave them to me was, “God doesn’t make junk—and you are a treasure.” She also used to call me her exotic bird too, while others in the church basements we frequented would look at my goth appearance and look away in fear and loathing muttering that there should be a dress code for sobriety. Ya right.
The gist of this book was that we are all born in Original Blessing, not Original Sin, that each of us is born innocent and blessed by the Divine, and that our task in this lifetime is to discover that sparkling thread of this Truth and weave it into the fabric of our lives. In this way we could free ourselves to be human, to keep committed to a conscious contact with a benevolent Higher Power, and if we make mistakes we can be accountable and take action and make amends when needed. We were not the sum total of our mistakes, that they, in fact, are each an opportunity for growth and a return to Love and to Spirit.
For someone newly clean and sober, this was a revelation because I had so much shame and unprocessed rage I didn’t know how to be other than to say, “I’ll show you how hurt I am. I’ll set myself on fire,” or just sit in a corner and stuff my face wondering if I will ever feel safe, or free from myself. (Oh! Right! If you’re new to my blog, I’m turning 34 years clean and sober soon, and the holidays are when I get right into looking for blessings everywhere even in the face of pain).
So this concept changed everything for me. Since then, every year I have started taking my inventory of the year before around now.
It’s when I clean house, both my actual environment and my inner. I take away what I don’t need from my outer, which is relatively easy, but before I focus on what needs to go internally, I do a slightly different inventory. I first look for the treasures in my life, experiences that were both obvious and obscured.
It’s kind of like a hidden object game called Where’s Waldo—Elf of Holiday Blessings?
So I’m going to invite you to do what I do.
The question I ask myself is where can I find the blessings in my life hidden in plain sight?
Example: This is the easy part. I am blessed with sobriety, I’m so grateful for my life. Best husband ever and adorable dogs. In love with my farm. I have the best publisher, amazing loyal friends, and I know what I do makes a difference in people’s lives. I am grateful beyond measure that I have this life.
Now, I feel good, let’s look at the messier bits. This is the hard part and honestly most gratifying. I am blessed with having had some confrontational experiences that forced/invited me to do some serious deep healing and make real changes in my life. I can give myself the gift of blessing, even in the most difficult moments, not run away and do the work.
By the way, I write all this out so I really understand the blessings, accompanied by gratitude and know that I really understand the human experience I signed up for. The other thing is we are never done. Life is a lifetime experience!
One last thing.
The greatest blessing you can bestow on others at this time of year is radical acceptance. Allowing someone to be who they are without demanding they change, just letting everyone be free to be who they are at the moment and place you meet is an extraordinary gift that is rarely noted. The other is listening. How can we accept or know the other if we don’t listen?
BIG LOVE TO ALL. May you all know your own blessings and share them with others.
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