At my book club meeting the other night, the facilitator for this month's book asked us whether we'd ever had a tragedy or painful event in our life turn into a blessing.
Several of us recounted experiences that had been devastating and painful but that eventually yielded blessings and positives we'd never expected. A job loss and closed door eventually yielded an open window and led to a far better career. A divorce led to discoveries and a new life never imagined. Multiple job losses led to personal growth and discoveries that were life-giving.
We all agreed, however, that the important thing is to develop an awareness for such blessings. Stay awake and aware. Sometimes we sleepwalk through life and miss opportunities that quietly enter our lives and then slip away because we weren't paying attention. Sometimes we're so mired in our hurt and pain that we get stuck there. We don't even allow for the possibility of good things happening again.
How can you nurture awareness? It helps if you keep yourself cleared out. Be sure to tend to your losses. Do the grief work necessary so you really can move on. You aren't ready for new dreams until you've grieved the old one. And I don't just mean the big losses such as death, divorce or job loss. I mean grieve anything that you feel as a loss—friends moving away, job changes (even when they're good, they contain change and loss), decline in abilities as you age, vacation plans gone awry or anything else about which you are sad. Feel the sadness. Cry. Talk about it. Do whatever you need to do to move on. Stay clean and clear inside. Be ready for life's blessings!