Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gratitude - Day 337-338 - Dec 3-4, 2014

Do you ever stop to think about how joy and sorrow coexist in the same world?   It's probably the most fundamental dichotomy in life.  How can celebration and despair exist in the same space?   In the same moment?

Today I received my weekly email from my chorus in Baltimore, listing the weekly "Joys and Concerns" of members.  There were aging family members entering hospice, accidental injuries, diagnoses of deadly diseases, and reports of job loss and other heartaches.  In the same list, there were reunited military families, births of nieces and nephews and grandchildren, successful job interviews and new opportunities.   It was jarring to read these items listed all on the same page, almost like emotional whiplash.  After I thought about each person listed to share their celebration or empathize their sadness, I felt wrung out.

And now as I think about it more, I can of course remember times in my life where joy and sorrow made strange bedfellows for me.   When my dad had the stroke and was basically incapacitated, we celebrated every single victory, even in a terrible situation.

It seems like we expect life to hum along in the "happy" state, and when something bad happens, we rail against it and complain that it's not fair.   And conversely, when we're in a difficult season of life, sometimes we miss the joys that occur unless we're carefully paying attention to them.   It's as if we take our joys for granted, and we focus only on our sorrows, trying to make them go away as quickly as possible.

But really, the point is that joy and sorrow do coexist, they do belong to the same life experience, and we should feel them both to their fullest extent.   The sad times make the joys sweeter.  We'd become complacent about our happiness if we didn't have sadness mixed in.

This is all a long-winded way to say that today I'm grateful for all of my blessings. I'm also grateful for recognizing that though my life is far from perfect, it turns out that it actually is precisely perfect. Perfectly seasoned with all the aspects of a full life - sorrow included - and I wouldn't want it any other way.


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I'd love for you to share in this project.  What's making you feel grateful today?
Please leave a comment to share your thoughts today.

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