Many years before I had any idea of the spiritual solution, my friend, Pastor Charles W. Quann of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Spring House, PA, invited me, a confirmed agnostic, to his service. I watched in amazement as Rev. Quann and his heart seemed to dominate an invisible energy, like the one I felt at a big Springsteen concert. The heart sang as if possessed by the spirit. And I knew in that moment that it was possible to be blessed forever.
The pastor also seemed to be in a kind of altered state that was riveting. So without thinking about it, I got up and raised my hands to receive the energy coming from the church facade. Rev. Quann gestured to the sky and asked again and again in a fervent tone: Have you been blessed? Do you see everything you’ve received? Can you hear them? Always be blessed, he concluded.
“Yes,” I shouted, to my surprise. I had to admit I could feel the spirit. I experienced the joy of a benevolent force that had given me an amazing family, the most amazing way to work to be able to help others and more. This experience changed me and put me on the spiritual journey.
Always be blessed: feeling the blessings
Since then I have thought a lot about the concept of blessings. We are now living in an age of gratitude as the path to happiness. Compiling and sometimes sharing email gratitude lists is now a rigorous pursuit of satisfaction and joy. Everyone, from 12-step sponsors to growth therapists, coaches and gurus, endorses its use, including me. And being grateful is an extraordinary gift to be made and it is, the gift of happiness.
But the question is, can we go one step further? Perhaps there is greater tranquility, greater serenity, greater joy, if we look at the wonderful people, places, situations, and gifts of our lives as Blessings.
Blessings are defined as follows:
- God’s help and approval[dess]
- Have a sacred nature
- Connected to God[dess]
This takes us beyond mere appreciation and takes us into the realm of connection with our source of energy. Thus, as we are thankful for our blessings, we feel happier and more connected to our notion of a higher power.
So right now I want you to make a list of all the BLESSINGS you are thankful for in your life. Please end the following sentence with whatever comes to mind. Add some blessings that have come out of what you think were misfortunes.
I am really blessed because …
Always be blessed: our coaching client, Jana
This is how Jana, a high-performing pediatric oncology nurse from our Love Mentoring program, did this exercise.
Jana began each blessing with “I Am”:
- Really blessed because I survived a serious car accident.
- Happy to have an extraordinary daughter.
- I divorced my husband and I don’t have to deal with his problems!
- Really blessed because my sick old dog still comforts me.
May you always be blessed: faith in a power greater than yourselves
This is a great exercise that helps to build faith. And faith, or as I would say 12 steps, deliver things to God[dess], is one of the most useful choices we can make. When we are desperate or in a state of fear, faith can pull us out of ourselves. In fact, fear cannot exist when we have faith. If you are facing a situation full of fear and anxiety, use this exercise to give yourself faith.
For example, Della, a single mother who was an excellent corporate lawyer, faced a formidable dilemma: whether to ask Darnell, her drug-addicted son, to leave if she did not receive help. Here is how he did the exercise to give himself faith and comfort.
He began each blessing with “I Am”:
- Really blessed to know a good detox and rehab center for Darnell.
- Happy to have options.
- supported by my dear friends of Al-Anon.
- Really happy to do this exercise.
- Happy to feel a little distanced right now.
- Thank you, God.
So strengthened by a measure of peace and faith, Della was able to make the difficult decision to ask her son to move. In fact, he is now safely in detox. She continues to work on her faith and connection with her higher power. Like Della, you can always be blessed.
#blessed #Love #days
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