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One-Liner Wednesday: Gratitude Makes Sense of Our Past

35 Comments

woman looking back at rocks

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

I thought I knew all the stages of grief.

But there’s always more to learn.

 I never understood the role of  bargaining in my divorce.

I don’t remember begging, though I did ask “Why?”

wandering around in shock.

The counselor said the marriage could be saved

unless there were other lovers –

then it wouldn’t work.

The other woman had been my friend

before the bottom fell out.

There was no checking in.

No sisterhood.

.

I used to think  guilt was a stage of grief,

guilt the companion of bargaining,

guilt who knows where I live.

Maybe if I’d been more attentive,

 more docile, more playful…

I thought I was doing a good job

for the two decades tossed away.

Why? Why? Why? ad infinitum….,

(until now.)

.

Anger got lost in depression,

the depression I tried to swallow,

but it kept coming back up.

Or I’d stuff it in a drawer and forget about it

until I went looking for that purple scarf

and it grabbed me around the throat

and threw me on the bed.

 I couldn’t get up

but I could roll over and slide down

to put my knees on the floor.

.

All the while I wrestled with depression,

anger lurked nearby growing into a boulder of resentment

blocking my path to happiness.

.

But where was this acceptance I kept hearing about?

I had no idea.

.

It wasn’t until forgiveness

finally got a foot in the door

and started chipping away at resentment,

that acceptance had a chance to work.

It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.

Love of self. Love of family. Love of life.

And finally when the time was right,

Love from another.

.

Now, after all these years, I’ve awakened

to another stage:

Gratitude.

Eighteen years ago I would have never believed it possible

to be grateful for my divorce.

But if the first marriage had not died,

if the other woman had not been there,

I would not have been set free.

Free to fall.

Free to flounder.

Free to fly.

Free to find myself again.

Free to be found.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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at

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Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again. I also paint angels.

35 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday: Gratitude Makes Sense of Our Past

  1. So powerful and a great witnessing of your own self-compassion! Much love, Ka 💗

  2. This is absolutely beautiful. I see a lot of the power my sister found on the other side of her divorce here. Thanks for being so open about your journey. 🙏🏼💛

  3. “It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.”
    ~ Forgiveness was also a key in my own recovery.

    Happy Thanksgiving, JoAnna ❤

  4. You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience. Forgiveness and gratitude have magical powers.

  5. Hi JoAnna! Yes!! I say a giant resounding yes for honoring ALL of your past. Seems we, once again, are on a parallel journey…one of acceptance and forgiveness realizing that every single moment of the journey is important. I send so much love and beautiful energy to you. I hope that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.

    Sweet Blessings,
    Lorrie ❤

    • Every single moment is important. I’m smiling in contentment at that as sunlight reaches in through the window to my keyboard. Thank you dear Lorrie. Sweet Blessings to you, too. ❤

  6. Such powerful words of emotions described! Gratitude indeed becomes the vehicle that carries us from the past to the present and into the future – it gives us grace through the difficult journeys of life.

  7. It’s awesome to find synchronicities during my day! Another one of the adult leaders for a teenage girls’ organization started a “gratitude project” today. I explained that a gratitude list was easy for me now, but I had trouble a few years ago. I told the girls that an AWESOME mentor had helped me, and I was happy to pay that forward and help them. Even though I helped others address gratitude issues today, THIS is what I needed to read for ME! Thank you… again! One Love, Many Blessings! 💖

    • I’m so happy that this was what you needed for YOU! Synchronicities always excite me, so this makes my day, too. It’s funny – in a good way – how gratitude lists never get old for me. Each one feels like an awakening. One Love, Many Blessings! ❤

  8. I’m glad for you, JoAnna…that the sadness of your past has turned into gratitude. That makes for a happy heart and life.

  9. Wise reflection Joanna. I too am grateful for my divorce, over 35 years ago. The hardest thing I ever did, but the best thing, too. Enjoy the here and now!

  10. That was absolutely beautiful!

  11. What a wonderful testimony of grief to gratitude! Thanks for sharing, and happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Nice line: “It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.” That seems to be how it happens.

  13. i’m moved by these revealing words
    of losing so, so much, JoAnna
    enduring the most personal pain
    and patiently allowing
    the fruit of liberation
    through gratitude, ripen 🙂

  14. I’m so glad to haer you have come full circle to that place where you can look aneadwith hope and not back with resentment. Growth is miraculous isn’t it?

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