Not too long ago I posted a piece in which I talked about the gift in misfortunes–ours or those of others.
Some readers got the meaning and intention behind the thought, especially those that had faced difficult circumstances, like debilitating diseases, terrible losses and other things that none of us would like to have happen, if we had a choice. Most of them? Saw the lesson or gift in their situation.
Others pushed back, with comments such as:
“I don’t like to think that the misfortunes of others are a gift for me.”
“There’s no way that something bad happening to someone else could be a gift.”
It was as if the act of finding something good or useful in a pile of shiz was a bad thing, when in fact, it’s one of the most beautiful outcomes of falling into shiz that could occur.
When bad things happen, our choices are to be depressed, to complain, to pretend it’s not happening, to be bitter… or to look for the lesson. That lesson could be for us or for those around us. Or both.
What, you think bad things are random events? If that’s your belief–that we are subject to the “luck of the draw,” then I can see how it would be hard to look for anything positive in a pile of shiz.
I just don’t happen to believe that what happens to us is random. I see the hand of the Divine in all of it, and if the Divine gives us something, we’re meant to learn from it.
I’m reminded of a Mary Oliver poem that applies so well.
But don’t take my word for it. Or Mary Oliver’s.
One of my friends, Cathy Chester, has written about the gifts that came from her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, either way.