This year has been one helluva year for me. It began by my soon-to-be ex wife being hospitalized. In February, I got fired from my job. In March, we moved in with my in-laws. In April, I got an official diagnosis for adult ADHD. In May, my ex asked me for a separation and to move out, so I moved back home to Virginia with my family. And two weeks ago, I signed my divorce papers. So yeah, pretty rough year. However, despite the hardships this year has brought me many things for which to be thankful:
-The many lessons I’ve learned about myself going through a divorce. I consider myself a recovering shameoholic. I realized that I spent 4 years trying to love someone while I hated myself. I’m a chronic shamer. The difference between shame and guilt is this: guilt says, “I did bad,” while shame says, “I am bad.” I’ve spent most of my life living under this shame. So going through the divorce and realizing this as brought me to a breakdown/spiritual awakening. I’m learning a lot about myself and growing from the lessons brought to me. As hard as it is I’m grateful for that.
-I’m grateful to be back home around family after living in TN for 6 years.
-I’m grateful for a decent paying job with benefits.
-I’m grateful for new friends.
-I’m grateful for my Honda Civic.
-I’m grateful for being accepted in to grad school for my M.Ed in Counseling and Human Development. I’m glad to finally have some direction and goals in my life. I’m picking up and moving on with my life. I can’t wait to start my studies.
-I’m grateful for stability.
-I’m grateful for my priest and for Orthodoxy.
-And finally, even though my marriage ended, I’m grateful for it and for my ex. She taught me a lot in the 4 years we had, but for many reasons the relationship had to end. It was unhappy, unhealthy, and toxic. There were really great lessons and moments too. I’ve learned in life we must embrace the good and the bad, the light and the dark. She taught me a lot and is a great person. I truly wish her all the best.
This is just a short list. Our failure as human beings is to offer unto God thanksgiving for our many blessings bestowed to us by Him. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. I do everyday. I ask for forgiveness from God on this and from you. Let us always keep a grateful heart for whatever we encounter. Glory to God for all things big or small. May His mercy be with us in this new year!
“When man stands before the throne of God, when he has fulfilled all that God has given him to fulfill, when all sins are forgiven, all joy restored, then there is nothing else for him to do but to give thanks. Eucharist (thanksgiving) is the life of paradise. Eucharist is the only full and real response of man to God’s creation, redemption and gift of heaven. But this perfect man who stands before God isChrist. In Him alone all that God has given man was fulfilled and brought back to heaven. He alone is the perfect Eucharistic Being. He is the Eucharist of the world. In and through this Eucharist the whole creation becomes what it always was to be and yet failed to be.” -Father Alexander Schmemann “For the Life of the World” (p. 38)