How Loss Can Remind You to Be Grateful

I am on the East Coast and we just faced Hurricane Sandy. I’m in Philadelphia and I consider myself very fortunate that I was in a place that didn’t sustain very much damage. I am grateful that my family members are alright except for some power loss and downed tree branches. Yesterday, I watched the news and I saw the devastation in Atlantic City,  New York and other areas. It made me realize exactly how fortunate I am.

I can think back to a discussion I had during Hurricane Irene. I was expressing how grateful I was that my family was safe and saying that I felt blessed. A friend challenged me by asking me about the people who lost and faced devastation. She wanted to know if they were any less blessed than me. At the moment, I wasn’t as spiritually grounded as I am now. I became agitated and defensive. I clung to my need to be right and responded in a dismissive way. Now, that I’ve been through another hurricane and much more in my life, I have a completely different view on the situation.

If I was asked that question today, I would tell that friend that the people who faced devastation and loss are no less blessed than I am. While they faced devastation or loss on the day of the Hurricane, I faced devastation and loss on days that were sunny and bright. We all face something that seems like it tears our world apart. It’s jarring and hurtful for all of us. In the moment, you will feel abandoned and unlucky.  You may even feel less blessed. But, the truth is that you are and continue to be blessed and loved.

A Hurricane blows through a stretch of land. It’s shifts the balance of the ocean and sand. It uproots trees and destroys everything in its path. After the hurricane, the ocean shifts back and becomes re-balanced. New trees grow. The animals return and flowers bloom. Life continues and rebuilds. The cycle of life is the same for us. Whatever comes into our life that brings destruction and loss requires us to rebuild.  It can leave you in the dark. You’ll be worried about water, food, and other things that you may have taken for granted. It can be as simple as being able to get out the house. When everything is back to normal, you know how lucky you are to be alive and how fortunate you are to have all the things that work for you on a daily basis.

In the tribulations of life, we are reminded of the love that is available to us and how lucky we are for all the things we have and the people we care about. If you are witnessing the devastation and loss of someone else, you can still learn the lesson to be grateful for all that you haven’t loss or experienced in your own life. It is also an opportunity to show compassion and volunteer to support someone else. Every event in life is blessing because it is an opportunity to look within yourself and be grateful.

“A house pulled down is half rebuilt”- Proverb

My prayer and heart goes out to everyone that must rebuild and that experienced loss.