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Radical Gratitude

Image result for Brother David Steindl-Rast aliveness


How can everything be a gift? Illness? Homelessness? Abuse? Death, Disaster? I don’t understand. Nothing can make these things ok, especially when they are happening to us, to our family. I think the idea of radical gratitude has to do with looking for the gift in the tragedy, in the sadness. I admit, this sounds crazy. If something terrible is happening, how can something good come from it? I’ll admit that sometimes I can see the ‘silver lining,’ but mostly, when I’m in the middle of it, I only want to get out of it.


What is “aliveness?” I think it is: a state of being present in the moment, regardless of what is happening. To feel the loss, the sadness, the fear, the joy…completely. Maybe we don’t need to feel it all at once, that sounds overwhelming.  But can we take the opportunity to experience the “human-ness” associated with all our experiences.

It Still Sounds Crazy

I grew up in a family of alcoholics. Because o this, I faced a lot of trauma. I did what I had to do, in order to cope with situation. As I matured, I realized that what I had lived through and adapted to… had forced me to fall into some unhealthy behavioral patterns. If you had asked me at 17 if I were happy that my parents were alcoholics, I would have said, “NO!” But as I sought help, as I learned about how this changed my life for the better, I became immensely grateful. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I had not had those experiences. Everything is a gift (ok, maybe not everything) but many things are a gift, even if they don’t seem like it at the time. Yeah… I believe it, but it still sounds crazy.

Image credit: quoteaddicts

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