Thankful for Absence

gratitude
What are you thankful for?
It’s a question that gets thrown around rather casually this time of year.
We expect or anticipate answers like my family, my job, my kids and those are all great responses.
But yesterday at the close of a yoga class my friend posed the additional question, “What absence are you grateful for?”
The absence of pain, illness, toxic people who are no longer part of your life.
It got my attention. I even peaked my eye open to look at her. I think it’s a profound question and it swirled around in my head the rest of the day.
I so often think of gratitude in terms of what I have but how does it change when you think about it in terms of what you don’t have?
In some ways my list gets even longer. I don’t have illness, chronic pain, housing issues or concern about where I will get my next meal.
I don’t have medical bills adding up, I don’t have the stress of wondering how I will provide gifts for my friends and family, I don’t live with fear of violence in my home. There is so much that I don’t have and I am truly grateful. The painful reality is so many do have these challenges. Many have more than one of the few I mentioned.
It’s weird how so often we are focused on lack, as if it’s a bad thing. But clearly there are many circumstances where lack is the blessing of great abundance. Of course, I often wish I had more but on Sunday my yoga friend made me think hard about how much I do have and how much I don’t. And how amazing it is that I have both lack and enough. Absence and abundance can be equal gifts.
How are you doubly blessed with what you have and what you don’t?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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