Previously I shared gratitude post http://bit.ly/ZaXuYj on identifying things within ourselves that we are grateful for and identifying others around us whose presence in our lives nurtures and sustains us. Today, I am writing a gratitude post on things and people that have not worked in a beneficial way, because each of those relationships and experiences often leave valuable lessons behind.
I am grateful for those people whom I have encountered in life’s journey, who have been abusive and ungrateful. Sometimes they have apologized and I have realized that we are all human and make mistakes but there is enormous power in accepting our mistake and apologizing for it. Once when my son was in Kindergarten and he did something wrong (I can’t remember what) but when I was picking him up, he told me that he had done something wrong and he wanted to apologize to the teacher and asked if I would go with him. I forgot the actual conversation but remember crying and hugging him.
I am grateful for people who have never apologized for the wrong done and the pain caused. I can credit some of those experiences for so much that is positive in my life now. When going through the harshest of circumstances when you stay true to yourself and when your values and sense of integrity goes through a very real test, then you come out at the other hand with remarkable persistence, courage, and strength of character, that needs no external validation. I am also thankful that through the challenges, I focused on maintaining compassion, because courage without compassion is like a ship in the open seas, without a compass.
I am grateful for people who were challenging for me because we are so so different – like apples and potatoes. And because of their efforts and mine, we bridged the divide, accepted and sometimes learned from our differences, and created those strange bonds that are stronger and may be more lasting than if we had not had an opportunity to work through our differences.
As my life blossoms, I wish to remember those challenging circumstances with gratitude and humility. And here is one small example where nature shows us how humility is indicative of great inner strength. Once when I was on an expedition in the Himalayas, we walked through totally frozen areas, before progressing to mountain climbing. After a month, on our return, we noticed that snow had melted and in some areas there were 100+ feet tall trees. I asked a Sherpa about that and he explained that when the snow falls the trees just bend and lay buried under the snow. As the snow melts, they once again stand tall.
Please add comments on what lessons you learned when going through your challenging circumstances and what are you grateful for.