I have been thinking about all the wonderful blessings that have come into my life though it is not clear that they were blessings on arrival.
Here are a few:
- The friend who decided I had violated her trust and ended our friendship. I had done something to be helpful to a mutual friend that ended up hurting her. I hadn’t thought my actions all the way through. I felt the friend I helped needed me more. But she was right and it was hard losing her friendship, though years later we were able to mend our relationship. [She is a gracious and loving soul.] In talking it through with her, I gained valuable insight into the complexity of relationships and understanding of how, even when you are doing what seems right, sometimes people still get hurt. These days, in putting myself on the side of the violator for my own hurtful situations, I find that trying to see from the perspective of the person I feel has harmed me can be quite enlightening.
- A guy I liked who wasn’t ready for a relationship which caused me some consternation as I tried to let it go and move on while also fearing I would be alone for some time. The very day that this major struggle came to a head and I was finally able to let him go was the day I met my husband Dan. In letting go, I was able to gain what was truly the best thing for me. [And that guy? He ended up happy as well with a wonderful woman.]
- The time I was given a horrible review by the Tech Service Manager, my boss, just after being in a meeting with our customer who had given me excellent marks. In his opinion, I had over-rated my skills and abilities on my self-evaluation. I tried to explain that I thought I’d rated myself accurately and that the customer seemed to think I was doing a fine job but it was as if he hadn’t heard a thing in the customer evaluation meeting we’d just exited. He even went so far as to exclaim that the “no one” at the steel plant liked working with me. I had been frustrated in the job for some time with its 70-90 hour weeks, extensive travel and high stress (we were ranked #4 of 4 in Quality and #1 of 4 in Tech Service by the main customer I managed). I had planned to hand him the keys to the company car if my employee review didn’t go well but I was in such a state of shock I couldn’t process. I simply bid him goodbye and headed to the next customer visit. When I called the lab the next day, the engineer there sounded so happy to talk with me so I asked if everyone didn’t dislike working with me. He assured me that I was a delight. I soon tendered my resignation and, after a month off for travel and rest, moved into a position that kept me home every night and from which I retired 8 years later with a large retirement account. If I hadn’t been pushed from a job that was truly devastating, I likely would have stayed and been miserable. So that Manager did me a big favor in the long run!
- The guy I met who was briefly my boyfriend and sired my child, though he left early in the pregnancy. I am sure he didn’t know what a blessing Tom would be, not only to me, but to his own mother and father who became the primary grandparents in Tom’s life. No doubt the best thing that has ever happened in my life, though in the beginning, I wasn’t so sure it would be.
But isn’t that how it often is, the thing we wish wasn’t happening can often turn out to be a huge blessing?
I remember driving to work one day long ago and getting stopped by a train. I was frustrated at being held up. Ten minutes later, as I drove in slow traffic up Cline Avenue to the plant, I saw the accident scene. There was a body lying on the ground, almost completely covered, but with one hand visible from under the edge of the tarp. I realized that, had I not been delayed by the train, it could have been me. That was a turning point in my life. To realize that something that seems bad can actually be good.
There’s a good story on this lesson (http://www.ebaumsworld.com/jokes/read/1004069/):
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.
While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.
The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.
Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!
I encourage you to find the blessings in every day. And to remember that even when things don’t look so great, they could also truly be a blessing.