Difficult Gifts

Often people will refer to others or situations as a gift, or maybe a blessing.  Most often those gifts or blessings are things that we want, things that make us feel good.  But I was reflecting on the book "The Book of Joy" which is a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama mentioned "difficult gifts."  The idea of a gift being difficult made me reflect on the definition of "gift."

What I've come to believe is that a gift is any person or situation that brings us closer to the heart of God.  That means a gift can be a wonderful thing like the birth of a beloved and long awaited child.  But "gift" can also be a tragedy.  Tragedies and hardships often lead us to the place of calling out to God.  In fact, we more often call out to God in the mist of the darkness than we do when all is well.  I hear quite frequently in my AA groups that people are "grateful alcoholics."  I now too am a grateful alcoholic because my disease, as awful as it is, has led me deeper and deeper into my holy walk.

Therefore, I no longer attribute "gift" to warm-fuzzies.  Rather "gift" is anything, either good or bad, that pulls my soul into the Beloved One.  May each and every one of you find your daily gifts wherever you are.

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