Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Monday, August 19, 2013

#Gratitude Challenge: Appreciate about Your Adversary

Since I do not blog on weekends, I did not address the third or fourth day challenges. The third is to write a letter of gratitude to someone, which I will complete these weekend as part of a friend's birthday and two friends' going-away celebration. The task calls for posting a picture of your letter, but these are highly personal and intimate, so I'm choosing just to mention that I am writing them rather than sharing them.

The fourth task is to define gratitude for yourself. What does it really mean and what does it mean to practice it? To me, gratitude is spiritual. It is the deep recognition and acceptance of your higher power moving in your life for your benefit -- even though the situation may not always seem immediately positive. When you thank someone, or express your gratitude for having them in your life, to me, that is synonymous with the Yoga concept of "namaste." On the surface, you are thanking that person, but on a deep, spiritual level, you are recognizing that God is putting that person in your life and influencing their actions for both of your benefit. Practicing gratitude is a form of prayer and praise. When you are grateful, you are open and accepting; that is why it is important to be grateful for the challenges in your life as much as the accomplishments.

Today's challenge is to name three things you appreciate about your adversary.
via Google Images
This used to be so difficult for me, and it still is, but it is no longer impossible given my view of gratitude I spoke of above. God is moving and working in my life, including through those who challenge and hurt me.

My biggest adversary at the moment is my roommate. He somehow manages to push me to my edge pretty much every day. As a result, my life is extremely stressful lately -- every day. It is a challenge to say the least. But, God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, and I know by stretching me and creating this huge negative (void) in me, He is only making even more room for the joy He has intended for me.

So, three things I can appreciate about my current adversary are:

  1. He knows who he is and makes no apologies for it.
  2. He is wildly successful, according to his definition of success.
  3. On a deep level, he understands me and accommodates me.
Your turn: What are three things you can appreciate about an adversary? It's tough, isn't it? But, it does feel good that you are able to be that big of a person, that you can frame situations in your life however you choose.

And... three things I am grateful for TODAY are:
  1. Being able to express, accept and talk about my emotions surrounding my friends moving across the country one week from today. It hurts like crazy, but it's comforting that we can share tears.
  2. Having friends who understand me and what I'm facing, who are doing everything they can to help me to the other side.
  3. The return of August weather this week! It's going to be 90 degrees tomorrow!