A Different Kind of Thanks Giving
Gratitude for Pain and Loss
By Laura Smith Biswas and Stephanie Miller
There are a lot of obvious things to be grateful for and then there are the ones that hurt but are undeniably holding something to be thankful for under the surface. This week's blog offers perspectives from both of us.
This was an incredible year of personal change for me and filled with much soul searching, pain, tears and letting go.
And what I learned is:
- Change is inevitable
- It is unstoppable at times
- It is better embraced than fought in resistance
As the Borg in Star Trek would say, “Resistance is Futile!” (Ok well that’s a bad example because they were assimilating all others through force, but they still have a point). Pain comes from fighting what is. So my ode to change is - thank you for the life lessons, the inner growth, and most importantly for the love that endures beneath it all when things change. Underneath every difficult experience is the possibility of accessing a quiet feeling of love, divine support and compassion. That I learned to access that in the midst of one of the biggest changes in my life this year, I will always be grateful. (More about that change later).
I’ve been contemplating loss. The truth about loss is that you can’t experience it unless you have something to lose. Eveything, sadly, has a beginning, a middle and an end. I personally find it difficult to remember that everything ends, no matter how good or bad it is.
This Thanksgiving was my first holiday without my mom. It felt like a giant crater in my life, but in the most surprising way. I have huge blended family and my mom made most of the decisions about the menu, what time we’d eat and what we’d do next. I always said I was tired of being bossed around but this year I realized that I appreciated having someone to make decisions. One of our dinner guests was late and we ended up having an empty place set in the middle of the table. I kept glancing at the empty seat and thinking, that’s where Mom should be.
Until she wasn’t there I couldn’t fully appreciate what and who she was. The moments of missing her this holiday served to remind me how fortunate I was to have such a powerful, amazing mother for so many years. I found myself smiling at the moments she wasn’t there because I appreciate her more deeply now than I did a few months ago. It was a great lesson for me about accepting loss as part of life.
Can you think of something you're resisting that could actually be grateful for?