Assignment #2 – Kindness Blessings

Week 2 : Find the Blessing in a Difficult Situation

“Everything has its blessing.”

Reading: I’ve divided the book up into nine sections, one of which we will read each of the remaining nine weeks of the class. For this week, it’s the first nine short chapters in the “Receiving Your Blessings” section of the book, pages 17-49. KB - Assignment #2I encourage you to read these chapters slowly, putting the book aside when you find your mind wanting to consider something further or when you find yourself connecting something Remen has written to a situation or story from your life. Pay attention to these. Write them down, or take notes in the book. Do your best to stay mindful in your reading, treating this book as you would a treasured friend with whom you are having a significant conversation.

Kind Action: For this week’s action I am having us focus on the chapter “Wrestling With the Angel.” After having read the chapter, review an event in your past that caused you to suffer at the time of it. As your comfort level allows, review the event in detail, perhaps even taking time to write or talk to a trusted friend about it. Next, take stock of what has come since that event, specifically because of it. As a concluding action, allow yourself to express gratitude for the event because of what has entered your life due to it. Perhaps you met someone you otherwise would not have met. Perhaps you learned how to respond better to a person or situation you found difficult. Please do not choose anything that causes you undue pain.

Optional Idea: If you began a blessings journal last week, take time this week to tell someone one of the stories you noted in it. When you do this, be very mindful of telling the story fully, giving it its due. Include why you experienced this as a blessing.

Link to Book: “My Grandfather’s Blessings”

2 Comments

  1. I revisited a painful episode that happened last year when a good friend of ours visited us. She and my husband ended up going together to a museum that I wanted to go to with them. That may seem like an event that should not be so hurtful, but I thought that I had made my intentions clear before I left for the morning, noting I would be back by noon, and yet both of them professed to not knowing that I intended to go with them. I know neither of them would deliberately hurt me, but I just could not understand how they did not know or remember the words I remembered saying. However, I do remember telling them IF I did not feel well after my morning activity, I might not go as walking around a museum can be very tiring. It was just that from my perception, they had plenty of time to wait till noon and see if I intended to go, but apparently they heard I did not plan to go.

    I won’t say that I have been able to find gratitude for the painful event, but I have seen that I was not taking very good care of myself at that time nor was I communicating well because of my own difficulties. Life had become very stressful because of worries that my husband might have Alzheimer’s, a disease that both his mother and his paternal grandfather had.

    Now however, I see that I was allowing too much company to come visit at a time when I was stressed, and that I was in fact not giving clear signals as to my desire to go to the museum. I learned a lot from this event, enough now to say No much more often than I used to, if someone wants to come visit for several days, or if the activity planned might stress my level of endurance, then I set time limits on how long I want to do a certain activity rather than not go at all. I am still struggling with these issues, especially when my children and grandchildren visit, but I am defintely getting better. Thanks to classes like this.

    1. Thanks for sharing your example, Linda. My thoughts about this assignment led me to think about some of the most painful experiences of my life which felt too heavy to focus on here. I can acknowledge several good things that came from those episodes, but I don’t necessarily want to post about them publicly. I struggle a bit with this forum because of it being published on the web. Your example is helping me think outside the box and consider other events that may have unexpected blessings associated with them.

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