Gratitude for the Heartbreaks and the Mistakes

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Giving thanks tends to conjure up images of the good things in life: abundance, love, health, wealth, and so on.  I recently have been thinking of times in my life that were very difficult or painful, but in the end shaped me and gave me something rich.  I am grateful for these times, because they brought me into a much deeper experience of life.

Many of the heartbreaks in my life came from having my illusions shattered.  Every illusion I had was somewhat of a carrot on a stick, dragging me on a path away from myself.  These illusions mostly took on the form of a lover, somebody that I made more important to me than myself.  Getting dumped by any of these lovers caused a lot of pain, of course, but after the dust cleared and the pain subsided, there was just a little bit more of me to hold onto.  Eventually, there were no illusions left, and no one to surrender my power to.  Now, I stand next to my husband and know that we are equally powerful and wonderful.  Thanks to our past heartbreaks, we both have strong selves to hold onto, and can cherish each other without clinging.

My mistakes in life are all very important lessons that I am grateful for.  When I was just fresh out of college, I had no clue about how to manage money.  I made huge mistakes and leapt into an impressive financial quagmire that only I could take credit for.  That made more of an impression on me than any money-management class could have.  Without the financial car wreck, and the subsequent lessons learned in how to fix it, I doubt I would understand the importance of managing money well.  I also would not appreciate my own efforts in that department.  Ironically, a humiliating mistake taught me skills that are now a source of pride for me, and for that, I am grateful.

So, on Thanksgiving as you express gratitude for the good things in life, you also might add the mistakes and heartbreaks to your list.  Who would you be without them?

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