Friday, January 21, 2011

Grace, Being Grateful, Acceptance

We got some news recently that was utterly heartbreaking. It’s taken us a few days to recover, and it required a lot of alcohol, crying and holding one another. These are the times when I question everything-and try very hard to hold God accountable and decide I won’t believe anymore. This never works because while I have no particular religion or faith, I do believe. I want to believe, but there are times when the constant shit-storm is too much for me and I doubt that anything/one is looking out for my husband and I.

When people around you appear to have very easy lives, or have little conflict or real distress (not imagined or self-created as many people do), and they receive something wonderful that you have been working for, or wishing for, it can be difficult to feel happy for them. The first response is “why not me?” It is especially challenging when they are not grateful. There is a difference between downplaying something positive to be modest or kind when you are sharing your good news with another, and simply being ungrateful. A lack of appreciation for the blessing they’ve been given is an insult to those who have desired the same thing. These are always the people who get what you want first, regardless of how hard or long you have been working for it. The universe or God or whatever you believe in is not fair, and in my life I have learned that there is no reason why some people have an easier time than others. I feel it is completely egotistical and self-centered to claim that some force or being looked into your little life and declared when something could happen. 

Envy is not pretty. I know that not everyone feels it and I admire people who are above it. It is definitely one of the worst parts of me. That being said, no matter how deep into my own self-pity I may dive, I never want the good things at the expense of another, or instead of the other person. There are certain parts of life that I just wish could belong to me first. To experience blessings without the unsolicited advice from everyone else who has achieved or received it before you. To have those experiences belong to you completely without others believing they had some part in it, or think they know better than you and constantly tell how you should handle this, go about this, etc. Frankly, there are some things that you want to be the first to share with family because once it happens, the experiences that follow are never as meaningful as the first.

One of the most painful aspects to the recent news we received is that we know they will be treated differently, better, placed on a pedestal, and in the face of our own challenges it makes it that much harder to embrace their exciting news. It has also prevented us from interacting with the family, as embarrassing as that is to admit. We just aren't ready to deal with it. 

Regardless, we have to find the grace to accept the reality and manage to silence the envy within us in order to be truly happy for the others and to free ourselves from resentment and anger. Their good luck has nothing to do with us and we have to move beyond ourselves and try to be grateful for what we have. 

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