This week I want to write about blessings. I guess I'm writing about blessings because I'm feeling very blessed right now, but also because I've learned a few things about blessings recently that I wanted to share with you all...
- Blessings can be given and received. If given, they need to be given with no strings attached from a place of love, otherwise they don't really qualify as blessings. When they are received, they also need to be received with no strings attached from a place of love, because in doing this the blessee also blesses the blesser - and that's just good etiquette!
- Blessings may seem like a wish fulfilment in that they mostly happen when there is a need. In the past we've been blessed with things like a working fridge just when our fridge died, and the serendipitous nature of the blessing could (and was) perceived as a manifestation of a wish or metaphysical request to the universe. Possibly it was an answer to a prayer of sorts (keeping in mind that prayer is meditation and not always projected at a specific god-like entity), I won't dispute that, what I do dispute is the concept that blessings are basically inventory deposits... A blessing doesn't just happen because you wish very hard. You cannot 'make' a blessing happen - that defeats the point of a blessing. Blessings even happen to those who others might deem undeserving of them. Blessings don't happen because a person is good, or because a person has a powerful mind and can make the universe bend at will. Blessings, by their very nature cannot be forced or earned but received from someone who gives freely from a place of non-contingent love.
- No one has the market cornered on receiving blessings. While it may seem that some people live an enchanted life and are continuously blessed, this is merely an illusion. Blessings must be perceived, some people are often blessed but are unable to perceive those blessings. Perceiving blessings comes with practice. Once you begin to perceive blessings, they will seem to come thick and fast - this sudden increase is also an illusion - they were always there in great numbers, you just couldn't see them before. Perceiving blessings does not increase their number, it simply increases how often you notice them!
- Sometimes blessings can only be recognised in hindsight which is why every turn in the road is a potential blessing in the making. Sometimes people act in ways which would seem to be the opposite of bestowing a blessing on another person (sometimes they even do this on purpose) and yet, the action becomes a blessing in hindsight. We do not control how we bless other people, sometimes when we intend to do the opposite of blessing someone we end up creating a blessing against our will. We can choose to be open to blessing others from a place of love - in which case we also bless ourselves - or we can choose to hurt others and take the chance of blessing them anyway, but not blessing ourselves in the process because we work from a place of fear and loathing.
- I love that in Icelandic the farewell greeting is the abbreviated 'Bless'. To say goodbye, people say, 'Bless' which is short for 'God bless you.' Even if you are not religious, it is a lovely way to leave someone, bestowing a blessing on them and wishing them well until you see them again. I'm going to start using that word a lot more from now on.