You’re on your way to work, in a hurry, and you see them in the rearview — the blue lights. Damn. So, like swallowing flavorless cough syrup as a child, you take your medicine. Your haste has gotten you a ticket. Now, what? You resume your commute, and see that there is an accident that it seems you’ve narrowly missed, and you think to yourself, “I guess that ticket was a blessing in disguise.” The truth is, though, we’re surrounded by blessings every moment of every day, and we take most of them for granted.
Did you wake up this morning with a roof over your head? Blessing. Did you have breakfast in a kitchen with a pantry full of food? Blessing. Did you see your family off to school or work? Blessing. Did you drive to work today? Blessing. You get my point.
We tend to only celebrate blessings when we’ve had a brush with some type of perceived negative fate. Or, when something monumentally beautiful happens. In reality, nothing has really changed except our perception of events. Try this perspective when you can’t seem to find the blessing in your life. Think about what a blessing is like for someone in a third world country. A blessing might be NOT having to forage for clean water today, or having enough food to feed your family one meal.
The Dalai Lama describes blessings as this, “Blessing must arise from within your own mind. It is not something that comes from outside. When the positive qualities of your mind increase and the negativities decrease, that is what blessing means. The Tibetan word for blessing … means transforming into magnificent potential. Therefore, blessing refers to the development of virtuous qualities you did not previously have and the improvement of those good qualities you have already developed. It also means decreasing the defilements of the mind that obstruct the generation of wholesome qualities. So actual blessing is received when the minds virtuous attributes gain strength and its defective characteristics weaken or deteriorate.”
It’s easy to get caught up in feeling wronged somehow, but even experiencing situations that are unpleasant don’t have to be blessings in disguise, but blessings in and of themselves, for they are what shape us, strengthen us, and make us human. Celebrate the mortgage payment because it means you have a home. Celebrate the health insurance premium, because you know you have health care. Celebrate the speeding ticket because it may have just saved your life or someone else’s.
As Jack Kerouac once said, “Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.” Celebrate the blessing in every breath, and in every moment.
- Your Charmed Yogi
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