When is the moment a lover whose scent you once inhaled from dirty laundry becomes part of the woodwork? It’s a trick question because there is no defined moment; there is a slow erosion and a sudden realization.
When something is always there, like a partner or our breath, we don’t realize how much pleasure we have built on its presence. But when it is suddenly absent from life, we realize how much we miss it. Our partner goes away. Something goes wrong with our lungs.
Regaining gratitude is possible whether we get that thing back or never see it again. But there’s a catch.
Getting that thing back allows a renewed sense of appreciation if we feel the feelings of the loss.
Never getting it back can lead to longing, one that either carries you or drowns you. The trick to getting up above the waves? It’s also feeling the feelings.
Let me rewrite that point, because it’s important: After the feelings are felt, the gratitude can come. Because only the saints know how to feel gratitude in the dark moments — that’s what makes them holy. You and I need a little time to process.