By Cynthia Ray
Webster says a blessing is “something that helps you or brings you happiness.” What if we are lonely, or living in poverty, or addicted to drugs and alcohol, or facing foreclosure, or losing a job?
Do we expect life to be without pain or sorrow? Do we expect everything to go well all of the time? No, and yet we are always surprised by loss, pain and sorrow. We don’t expect it to happen to us or someone we love. It is always out there, happening somewhere else, to someone else; until it isn’t.
I have come to appreciate the shadows and the sorrows of life. All of the pain, suffering and brokenness in my life created a space in which I could do inner “alchemy” to become the person I am now.
I look at friends who have suffered with debilitating disease, with loss, with grief, and see them transformed by the experience, shining like a lantern to me, giving me hope and inspiration on my own path.
People that have struggled and experienced pain may become like the Phoenix that rises out of the ashes to become a new thing, a better thing than they would have been had they never suffered. In the middle of the fire, the burning is pain; in rising from the ashes as a new thing is victory. That victory then is a help and hope to those who are still burning.
If you are broken now, you know that you will become whole. If you are whole, you know you will become broken. And in that cycle of breaking and healing, we become more human. All of our stories are about the human experience, in all of its exquisite beauty and all of its horror.
If there was no sorrow, no conflict, no unhappiness, no war, no greed, no pain, there wouldn’t be any stories. Stories are always about the brokenness. I don’t know about you, but without stories, life would be shorn of much of its meaning and beauty. Stories show us the way.
Each of us hold a piece of the whole story, and when we tell that unique and special story, our voice adds to the symphony of voices singing, speaking, laughing and crying, weaving a fabric of humanness that keeps us connected.
Today, I am thankful for all of you writers and readers, for your stories, for your voice, for your unique “you-ness”. Know that the world would be less perfect and beautiful if you were not in it.