There’s being blessed with and there’s being blessed by, and they’re not the same.
You won’t be blessed with everything, but you can be blessed by anything.
The sun rose this morning: blessing.
There was dinner, or something like dinner, or maybe it was just rice and beans with extra salt: blessing.
The succulent is still alive on the windowsill: blessing.
The loud and raucous children were loud and raucous: blessing.
You found someone to commiserate with about the loud and also about the raucous: blessing.
A square of chocolate in your pocket: blessing.
A cup of hot tea: blessing.
One minute of quiet (maybe outside, or maybe in the bathroom, or maybe in the garage where you are definitely “looking for a roll of paper towels” not “hiding out”): blessing.
Seeing the blessings for what they are: that is a blessing, too.
Blessings come in all sorts of packages, but not every package is something you can hold in your hands, and not every package is one you were waiting for. You won’t get a delivery schedule. There are no tracking numbers.
Blessing doesn’t always mean easy. Blessing doesn’t always arrive unblemished and foil-wrapped. It doesn’t always come with twinkle lights, or background music, or an engraved gift tag.
Sometimes you have to dig for it, to unearth it, to uncover it.
Sometimes you have to look at it out of the corner of your eye until you see what it really is.
If it brings peace to your soul: blessing. If it brings joy to your heart: blessing. If it brings life to your days: blessing. If it shines light in dark corners: blessing. If it brings growth or change or truth or understanding: blessing.
Being blessed is not a competitive sport, and it’s not a zero-sum game.
We don’t need to compare our blessings. Ours aren’t better or worse than others. High score does not win. Low score does not win. There is no win.
Sharing your blessings is a good idea, though.
If you expect to find blessings — in your days, in your relationships, in your circumstances — if you’re watching for gifts — you’re more likely to spot them.
You don’t need to get more, have more, do more, before you will arrive at “blessed.” You’re blessed now. There may be some great reward at the peak of the mountain, but most of your day is spent climbing, and there is blessing all along the way.
Sometimes, from the middle of our mess and our stress and our daily-ness, our blessings don’t look like blessings. Sometimes they look like work. Sometimes they look like trials.
And sometimes they look remarkably like routine.
When we get to the other side and look back we can see it, sparkling and shimmering or hard-won and solid: blessing.
In our everyday, we might have to squint to find it. But it’s there, when we look back. We can see the blessing in the work, the comfort in the routine, the growth that came from change, the compassion that grew out of difficulty, the inspiration that would not have appeared without the interruption.
This moment might be one for dreaming and planning and goal-setting, for thinking ahead and leaning forward. But we do our best planning and dreaming from a place of gratitude, and gratitude comes from blessing.
We have to see them to count them.
Look back, and let the looking shift your perspective. Look back, and see that you are standing on the solid ground of blessing upon blessing.
Look back. And then look ahead, in hopeful anticipation of what is to come.