Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. – Charles Dickens
The word blessing carries different connotations depending on one’s personal beliefs. Eudaimonia is a Greek word for happiness, human flourishing, and blessedness. Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, used the word to represent the highest human good. This happiness blesses life with meaning and fullness. Overall, when one is blessed there is a presence walking beside you. A sense your feet on on the right path, at least for now. All people have been blessed. The blessing of the first light to enter your newborn eyes lights your soul to this day and unto your last day on earth. There may be many rough patches on our path, but there will be an abundance of blessings as well. Count on it.
Some days we feel like a fish out of water. The world we understood falls away and leaves us stranded. A cursed day has been visited upon us. You could surrender to the dire straits and be annihilated; or gather up the necessary courage for the struggle ahead. To overcome adversity, you have to count your many blessings. Let goodness and grace fill your heart. All of us have been dragged down and stepped on at one time or another. But we have found the strength to endure and once again flourish. This is the core of our shared human-nature. We have all been blessed by the tens of thousands of ancestors that came before us.
The modern world is blessed with incredible varieties of foods. Sharing this abundance with those we love is one of life’s great blessings. Nurturing the bounty of the land with your own two hands connects your life to the vitality of our good Earth. Seed to seedling to ripe maturity we too flow through many life-cycles. The ever-changing rhythms of life can gallop or crawl. Just remember, life is not a race. The goal is not to hurry to the end, or to be so busy you don’t appreciate the journey. Slow down the pace and count your blessings. Take stock of both the fullness and the limitations. Pay special note of the loved ones in your life. They bless each day with happiness beyond measure.
There will always be unknowns on your path. That too is one of the great blessings of life. Imagine for a minute what an entirely predictable day would be like. Life is not meant to be live in an unchanging tedium. The challenges we face are what define our character. The unfamiliar, unexplained, and uncharted bless us with the opportunity for self-discovery. As T.S. Elliot wrote, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” Challenge yourself to discover the blessing within the unknown.
Your soul is eternal, but your body has but one life. No one knows the number of days they have, and that is perhaps one of our greatest blessings. Do your best to live each day as fully as possible. There is no need to take extreme measures to increase the excitement, or sense of fulfillment. Your everyday life contains countless benedictions. May your daily blessings fill your heart with light. Peace and Love.