Why Be Grateful for the Bad Stuff?
Blessed Mabon, to those who celebrate this beautiful holiday otherwise known as the Autumnal Equinox. This is a time when our focus is on two energies: the energy of the harvest, and the energy of perfect balance. This the second of the three harvest festivals observed by many. The first was Lammas, early in August, and the third is the final harvest, Samhain, where the energy is quite different. For today, it’s about abundance, about gathering in all that the Universe so generously offers us and about appreciating it. All of it. And as I’m learning more and more as my life unfolds, that doesn’t just mean the “good stuff.” I think we should be even more deeply aware of and yes, appreciative of, the “bad stuff.” Because the whole “good-bad thing” is really nothing more than our own, often flawed, interpretation. And a lot of the things that happen to us that seem like tragedies, end up pushing us headlong into the biggest blessings of our lives.
A marriage breaks up–you’re devastated. But later, you find the love of your life and are happier than ever before.
A home burns down, taking everything you own. But later, you realize starting from scratch taught you more than you ever knew before, and the place you rebuild is far better than the old one you now realize you had outgrown.
An illness or injury comes and brings you to your knees. But in the process it causes you to launch the strongest desire for health that you have ever launched before. And as you know if you’ve been reading here long, the minute you launch the desire, it becomes. You just need to get attuned to it in order to experience it. You change habits in ways you’ve always intended to, but now, you stick to it, because you have no choice.
You get forced out of the job you’ve held for 22 years, and spend some quality time panicking, only to go into business for yourself and hit the big-time like you always wanted.
In every case, the quickest way to get to the better-than-ever-before result of what at first feels like a disaster, is to get your focus off “Ahh! A disaster!” and onto “Where is this leading me? What is it teaching me? What steps must I take to move me out of the problem and into the solution?” And the way to supercharge yourself to that level of understanding is to realize, even in the midst of the disaster, that it is actually a blessing. It has actually come to you in order to move you toward where you’re going.
So as you list the things you’re thankful for during this season of gratitude, (which stretches from now until year’s end,) remember to give thanks for the lessons, even the hard ones. Those are the most valuable. The second focus of this day is balance, and the power of things “in between.” There’s always been magic associated with things “in-between.” Doorways are magical, in-between one room and another, or in-between inside and outside. Swamps, which are in-between earth and water. Dawn and dusk are in-between day and night. And midnight, the Witching Hour, is in-between one day and the next. On this day, we transition from days growing longer, to days growing shorter, from the expanding season of the year, into the contracting season, from waxing to waning. And for today, for this one special day, we hang in perfect balance in between the two. Samhain is an even bigger in-between holiday, as we are smack in-between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, but we’ll talk more about that when the time comes. In a way, this transition energy goes hand in hand with the energy of appreciation for the hard stuff, because those are the times when we are in transition in our lives.
Today is the perfect time to make a drastic change in your life. Especially if that change is going to move you out of an apparent disaster and into the better condition it’s leading you into. Today is the day to take the first step, and move yourself into your next phase. So do it! After you make you list of things you’re grateful for, take an extra few minutes to look at whatever has been “wrong” in your life. Then figure out what it seems to be wanting you to do to move past it, (eat healthier, exercise smarter and be more consistent about it, for example.) And take the first step. Take the first step TODAY. And if you feel like sharing, tell me what they are in comments. By spring, you’ll be seeing the results springing to life. Love you. And Happy Mabon!
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