The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence.
the visionary in us seeks a new kind of lens to feel our way through the small times….because we are human, we plumb the depths of sorrow until we are raw, just so that we may know hope again..the ultimate moral question may center around indifference to our own suffering, because without that knowing we are simply indifferent…..
To stand up and be worn to something deeper is a pledge that living forces us to keep. I drove 500 miles down the California coast with the mountains on the left and the ocean on the right. For days they spoke to me of standing up and wearing down. Of course, I was driving a road we have made down the middle. During the fourth day, the road became a ribbon. It was here it was most beautiful. I found the world out there all in here, and now I know: The current of life requires us to stand up, again and again, and we are not defeated when we are worn down, just exposed anew at a deeper level. We are meant to live between the two. In this way, life keeps getting more and more precious. It is a natural law like gravity or osmosis: Stand up to be worn bare. It is how everything in the way is thinned, so we can feel just how thoroughly alive we are….Mark Nepo
There are four portals- or entryways- to the experience of gratitude. Blessings are the primary, cross-cultural portal through which we experience gratitude. Additionally, learnings, mercies, and protections are three other portals attributed with fostering gratitude in various worldwide cultures. To bless is to sanctify; to recognize the presence of grace; to confer well-being or prosperity upon others; to invoke divine favor upon others. Blessings are gifts that open doors to healing connection, meaning, and transformation. Whenever we are learning, we are growing. Our learnings and the understandings we derive from them form a universal portal that engenders gratitude for all the ways we learn, including initiation rituals or rites of passage. The meaning of the word challenge is an invitation to grow or extend beyond what is presently knowable or familiar. We do not develop without learning. To be merciful is to have a disposition of kindness and compassion that bestows unexpected forgiveness or clemency. When we extend acts of kindness and compassion to ourselves and others, we cultivate mercy and open more easily to our own forgiveness work. Anyone who has ever received the gift of forgiveness knows that it is one of the greatest gifts they can receive, and their gratitude emerges spontaneously. Every culture has practices, prayers, rituals, and invocations for protection. Feeling protected always engenders gratitude, and this is not limited to those who protect us in the seen world or others who may choose to watch out for us. We also call on the help of ancestors, the Mystery, and saints and angels for protection. We can understand the magnitude of gratitude’s power when we consider how the intention of thankfulness corresponds with the deepest human realities of connection, creativity, healing, and wholesomeness. These universal portals of blessings, learnings, mercies, and protections offer the human spirit the gift of awareness, the ability to recognize all those things that can inspire gratitude amid the paradox of life’s happiness and suffering…..Marianne Williamson