A thought occurred to me yesterday, and as those things do, this one is itching to be written down and explored.
I've been working on changing the angle at which I look at certain things, (thanks to Mary Marino-Strong for that provocative tool) and I keep discovering new angles that are a blessing to me. At the same time that I understand 'there is nothing new under the sun', new to the universe and new to me are not the same. This particular thought is new only in application. The notion has been with me a long time. Enough pre-amble!
I'll give a personal example. After my treatment for breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago, my body really changed in the way it metabolized food. Eating the same as I had been was a slow gain formula, and I did not really understand that for a long time. In our culture, where thin is revered and thick is not, I was not happy with the creeping weight gain. Not only our culture, I have to say. I would like to think I give a good amount of attention to being healthy, and a weight gain was not in my long term health plan! I'm working on it, but so far have only managed to stop the upward creep. What does this have to do with changing the angle?
A couple of weeks ago another friend asked me to consider that, if I truly accept life on life's terms, then I need to accept everything about myself. Not as being particularly better than another way of being, but as being exactly where I am supposed to be at this time. I mulled that over. And I realized that acceptance is an important ingredient in authentic spiritual growth.
So, this is what occurred to me yesterday. I can actually give thanks for this weight gain. It means I am on the other side of breast cancer. It means that, even though I went through a course of treatment that made weight issues stickier to handle, the real and amazing thing it means is that I was cured of breast cancer! How can I not be grateful for that? And every time I look at myself, I will see a woman who is blessed to be living this day cancer free. It is a focus change, a change in the angle. And I think it is the one God has in mind for me, because gratitude is such a better response to the gifts in this life than being dissatisfied with imperfection. And it makes breathing so much easier, and more fun. I am beginning to understand that old advice I have heard all my life but never really internalized,"in all things give thanks". It is from Thessalonians, but it is echoed in wisdom teachings everywhere. Instead of always wanting something to be different, see the blessings in the way things are. I like it.