Two Things I’m Thankful For
I’ve been racking my brain all week to come up with a clever and unique post instead of the generic “I’m thankful for friends, family and good health.” Not that I see anything wrong with those, in fact I’m very thankful for all of the above, but I wanted to provide a new perspective about things we might overlook in life, that we really should be grateful for.
There are so many things to be thankful for, and I really wish I could write them all down here, but I was inspired by some conversations with friends this week, and it became clear to me the two things that I am truly thankful for this year: love and heartache.
Love is obvious. To be loved by your friends and family, to be in love, to love a pet or a child. It takes many different forms and manifests itself in various ways. I particularly enjoy Urban Dictionary’s definition of love: “The most spectacular, indescribable, deep euphoric feeling for someone.” Love really needs no description from me, you know what it’s like.
Heartache. You know the kind I’m talking about, where it feels like bricks are weighing on your chest and that the world will never be right again after a breakup with a significant other or the loss of a loved one. It’s a pain like you’ve never felt, it’s a sadness like never before, a raw and open feeling.
Why in the world would I be thankful for the pain that comes along with the hurt of a broken heart? Simply put, the experience of heartache teaches you how to love and what you need from love. As one of my friends is currently nursing a broken heart it reminded me that even in these times of pain, good will result from it. He will probably guard his heart more carefully in the future, but the next time he loves he will undoubtedly have learned more about himself and what he needs.
You cannot have one without the other – love works hand-in-hand with heartache, “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken” (C.S. Lewis). Only the experience of heartache can truly prepare you and help you understand the beauty of love. Heartache gives us perspective to recognize and appreciate love. Without ever experiencing heartache we couldn’t possibly know what ove is and couldn’t appreciate it because we would have no idea how special and powerful it is. Our most painful experiences prepare us to better recognize and cherish times of love.
As my friend continues to mend from his heartache and with the holiday season quickly approaching this can be a painful time for many. Remember to keep your head up and that it will all work out. Be thankful for everything in your life, the love and the heartache, the joy and the pain. All of these things shape who we will become as we continue to grow with every experience.