Share This

Oh, It’s Tuesday: Counting Your Blessings

blessingsBaby Smiling in Backseat posted an awesome blog this morning about Dayenu, a traditional Passover song in which Jewish people gave gratitude for being freed from slavery. It’s basically about counting your blessings.

I found this blog fascinating, b/c I have always had trouble counting my blessings. Not because it’s easier to complain, but b/c I always run straight into the guilt trap of “Why do I have this, when so-and-so does not?”

Whenever I try to count my blessings I am struck not with gratitude, but with the fact that life is quite unfair. Sometimes I try to play the deserve game. Like I worked hard, so I deserve a good job. Or I have good values when it comes to men, so I deserve a great husband. Or I was a good kid, so I deserved all of the extra attention that I got from my teachers, which allowed me to get into a good college.

But then I think back to one of my first life lessons at the age of six. After I got angry and tearful, about my aunt gettting my little sister a birthday present when she had not gotten me one seven months earlier, my mother told me something along the lines of, “Nobody deserves presents, which is why you should be grateful for the ones you receive and never expect to get them.”

And what are blessings if not gifts?

The lesson stuck. I want, but don’t feel that I deserve blessings. I’m grateful for what I have, but don’t like to thank my God for it, b/c I really just don’t believe that He gives me anything that He doesn’t give others. To tell you the truth, I don’t care to believe it. It would make me like God less if he were consciously gifting one person and not gifting the other. Like my Aunt Mildred.

So what are blessings, then? I’ve come to the conclusion that they are pieces of luck. Dumb luck really. Some people thrive while others suffer. Some people get to keep their mothers, while others do not. Some people find love, while others die alone.

However, I don’t think anyone wants to believe that it’s just Random Luck. Nobody wants to pray to Random Luck. It’s not that sexy.

And even I get scared for my future self, when I think about how many disasters I’ve avoided just by making the right choice at a fork in the road. So many of of those roads would have led me away from my husband. So many of the paths not chosen would have led me to higher-paying jobs, colder cities, and a life that is not the one I have now. The lucky, lucky life I love now.

How about you? Do you count your blessings, or do you have the same problem that I do with the whole concept of blessings?

. photo credit: d ha rm e sh