Counting blessings

31 03 2008

I am starting to become more aware of things going on internally … emotions, thought processes, etc.

One of the things I have become more aware of is a sense of anxiety and at times, feelings of “not being good enough” or at even, “almost but not quite.”   If I am not careful, it will turn into a depression of sorts and I’ll start to shut down.

Truth is, there really is no real reason I should be feeling or experiencing these things.  However, one thing I want to do is to be more appreciative of all the good things I have in life, so I thought it would be a good time to count my blessings, so to speak.  In no particular order ….

1)    I have a good job and work with nice people (plus overtime!).

2)    I have good prospects for the future.

3)    I have a great circle of friends (waves and hugs to my Personal Atheist especially)

4)    I have a SIR who cares a great deal about me

5)    I have met many wonderful people through blogging, especially the Doorman Priest and Grandmere Mimi, Eileen, Lizbeth, Tobias, Dennis, Jarred, Pisco and others too many to name (I’m sure I forgot someone)

This list is by no means exhaustive but these are the really important ones right now.   Stepping back from them a bit, i can’t help but notice that 4 out of 5 have to do with people and the various communities I’m a part of.   Interesting …

Well, before I start overanalyzing and overthinking, I’m just going to sit and and enjoy the blessings … 🙂  and with God’s help be a blessing to others.

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9 responses

1 04 2008
Doorman-Priest

I think this is a common phase – and probably a good one to go through from time to time. A little introspection keeps us grounded, but too much of it in social isolation may be damaging. It’s good to share and get other perspectives.

The people thing seems very important and it’s a conclusion I am not surprised you came to. You are clearly an overtly pastoral person. The downside of that is that pastoral people need pastoring too: you must make your needs known.

1 04 2008
Personal Atheist

*Waves and hugs* back!

I’m very flattered to be included in this list. You’re definitely high up on the list when I count my blessings. 🙂

And yes, atheists can count their blessings too.

1 04 2008
Rob

Often when we practice being thankful, we go through the process of counting our blessings, acknowledging the wonderful people, things and places that make up our reality. While it is fine to be grateful for the good fortune we have accumulated, true thankfulness stems from a powerful comprehension of the gift of simply being alive, and when we feel it, we feel it regardless of our circumstances. In this deep state of gratitude, we recognize the purity of the experience of being, in and of itself, and our thankfulness is part and parcel of our awareness that we are one with this great mystery that is life.

1 04 2008
Reverend boy

Thanks, Rob.

How would you suggest getting to that point?

1 04 2008
Rob

It is difficult for most of us to get to that point — other than through prayer and reflection. The problem with that is we often need to “be there” when we can’t readily spend time focusing on reflective prayer.

Other than by the grace of God, we need to remember that life tends to ebb and flow, expand and contract, give and take … in other words, that it is somewhat unreliable.

If we only feel gratitude when it serves our desires, this is not true thankfulness. Of course no one is exempt from the twists and turns of fate, which may, at any time, take the possessions, situations, and people we love away from us. However, sometimes this kind of loss awakens us to a thankfulness that goes deeper than just being grateful when things go our way, and to that point at which we realize that we are truly lucky just to be alive.

Much of this is difficult to apply when life appears lousy or trying, but if we focus on that through prayer and by giving thanks for our life as we pray for a way, we will find it easier to mine those sentiments from our sould when we need to.

1 04 2008
Roland

Being grateful in good times and bad.
Not always easy. Not always even accomplished.
But it does start ot pervade your life more and more as you remember things like on your list.
If you try looking at yourself like someone who matters and is lovable, it changes a whole lot of things.

2 04 2008
Grandmère Mimi

RB, if you could know what a blessing you have been to me. I have such fond memories of our lunch in New York. Pure pleasure, my friend. And we shared the agonies of our calling to post for Doorman-Priest.

We’re none of us good enough, you know. I don’t find that counting blessings takes me very far, but I have found, like Roland, that “in everything give thanks” does work. I don’t mean thanking God FOR the bad times, but thanking God in the midst of the difficult periods of our lives and knowing that he is present with us always and that he loves us with a love that knows no bounds.

And What DP said, pastoral types need pastoring, too.

2 04 2008
John-Julian, OJN

RB:
After a half-century of doing spiritual direction, I’ve discovered that a lot of internal self-evaluation can often end up being destructive (and lead to spiritual depression). I’ve come to recommend that people try to stop taking their “spiritual temperature” and get on with following their rule of life (however boring or dull or hypocritical it may seem). That’s also why I never recommend daily journal-keeping: it is inevitably so self-oriented and self-absorbed.

And the second is what you are already doing: counting your blessings.

Pax et bonum,

John-Julian, OJN

4 04 2008
Pisco Sours

RevBoy, what you said. Your entire post. I’ve felt that lately too.

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