The Gift is in the Curse

Annah Elizabeth Happy Happens ™, Loss, Grief, and Healing, Mental Health 0 Comments

Happy Sunday-Monday, Journeyer!

As I reflect on this past week, many of the happy moments I experienced have to do with connections to other people.

Not just any people, but those who have suffered tragedy and survived by turning their sadness into support. They are our grief neighbors and our healing allies.

But I also pondered other people in my life, those who have been important in very different ways. They are the individuals who have pushed my proverbial buttons, who have tried my patience and tested my resolve on varying levels.

Not too long ago I recognized the value of these latter life participants, for they have been the ones who challenged me to look deep within; they have inspired some of my most significant personal growth.

No matter how strong our character or how well we get along with others, there will always be those situations and persons that create discord in our lives. Child loss, miscarriage, depression, and infidelity are a few of the life circumstances that rattled my very foundation.

There was a time after Gavin died that I began feeling as if I’d been born with a tattoo on my forehead that read “Bring it on.”

When I finally realized I no longer wanted to be buried alive by my grief, I straightened my spine and moved forward with a warrior-like attitude. I will not be beaten down. I spent my days and nights fighting virtual and real-life foes of all kinds. And I spent years fighting…resisting those things that I didn’t like.

In recent years, however, I’ve learned about a different form of gratitude and discovering how I can appreciate the blessings I’ve received in my adversities.

The gift is in the curse.  

This can be a little hard to wrap our brains around, but it is so true if we are willing to open our minds to the possibility.

In Gavin’s death I not only discovered an eternal relationship with him, I found my life calling, a soul’s mission to help heal worlds of hurt.

In reviewing the many heartaches my nemesis caused, I discovered some of my greatest strengths, spiritual and personal growth.

Like you, I continue on the paths that will allow and assist me in living my best personal, professional, and philanthropic life. What beautiful resources I am finding.

I’ve begun using meditation as a way of tuning out the chaos and turning in to the harmony at my soul’s center. In trying to understand more about this centuries old practice, I had the privilege of attending various local workshops this week. A Buddhism talk and brief meditation, a more in-depth discussion by anther practitioner, and today I attended a Tibetan Bowl meditation that was purely divine.

Meditation is not a way of pushing away your pain but rather a way of embracing it by simply viewing it and noticing how your body is responding. What I learned through Fave’s sharing of his ten-day silence meditation, which was validated by my own experiences, is that when we view whatever bodily sensation we are feeling, it will ultimately disappear.

This practice has helped me immensely with a horrible case of scalp psoriasis. I was constantly scratching and digging at my scalp, which made the condition so much worse and painful all day long. The practice of not responding to it in meditation actually translated into my daily routine. I quit responding to the itch, knowing that it was but a sensation that would dissipate on its own. Has it cured my condition? No, but now it is no longer bleeding and painful because I no longer fight the itch, but embrace it for what it is in that moment.

The condition is a symptom of something else going on…a something I am working to pinpoint by examining one possibility at a time. Once I figure that out, my body will be all the better for it.

The gift is in the curse.

When I took to time to notice that which was irritating me, to honor its presence only, I found an inner harmony and peace that bled out onto other parts of my day. When I accepted this condition, rather than resist it, it no longer had a grasp of me and the minutes that comprise my day.

The leader in Saturday’s class shared one of my favorite parables, The Parable of the Chinese Farmer.

It goes something like this:

There was a farmer and son who farmed the land with their one horse.

One day the horse ran away and the villagers proclaimed, “Ah, what bad luck that your horse ran away.”

“Maybe yes; maybe no,” replied the farmer.

One day the horse returned with other horses and the villagers proclaimed, “Ah, how lucky that you have many horses now!”

“Maybe yes; maybe no,” replied the farmer.

One day the man’s son was thrown from one of the horses and broke his leg.

“Ah, what bad luck that your son has a broken leg and cannot help you farm,” the villagers cried.

“Maybe yes; maybe no,” replied the farmer.

One day soldiers came through town, recruiting young men to serve and protect, but they did not take the boy because of his injured leg.

“Ah, how lucky that your son’s leg was injured and he was spared!”

“Maybe yes; maybe no,” replied the farmer.

The gift is in the curse.

I don’t know about you, but I love unexpected gifts.

What about you, Journeyer, can you think of a time where you found happiness by choosing to not react to a situation, rather to just accept it as a fleeting experience? Share a story in a comment below?

Until next time, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

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