If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember Caryn from an e-interview last year about silence and solitude. Caryn Rivadeneira is a writer, speaker, founding partner of the Redbud Writers Guild, and married mom of three who lives in Chicago-land. Caryn is the author, most recently, of Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down — a fantastic book about acceptance, thankfulness, letting go, worship, courage, and so much more. I’m so glad Caryn joined us today to be part of our conversation about gratitude.
Are you ready, Caryn? Give me your first reaction to this question: What are ten things you’re thankful for? (No cheating: share the first 10 that come to mind.)
Opportunities to write. My kids. My friends. My home. Food. My family’s health. My computer. Facebook. My husband. My dog. (Let’s hope my husband doesn’t see this list! Poor guy eeked in just above the dog. At least he knows how much I love that dog.)
Grumble Hallelujah begins with a description of a low, stressed-out moment for you when you muttered to your husband “I hate my life!” And you also write about the importance of actually grieving the loss of dreams or of ways we might have once hoped our life would turn out. So not to start out too negative here, but why must we come to terms with what we may “hate” about our lives? Why is grieving an important starting place?
I think grieving the losses is important because it means we’ve actually taken the time to acknowledge the losses and that we’ve determined that the loss was significant enough to grieve. Often times when we’re in the dumps because of junky finances or unfulfilling relationships or just not being where we thought we’d be, we tend to scold ourselves. “How dare I complain about money when so many are so worse off….” “Well, at least I have other friends…..” That sort of thing.
But—as a therapist told me years ago—pain is pain. And it does no good to deny it. So, that’s why I think we need to grieve our hurts and losses and disappointments. Instead of letting the hurt fester down deep and ultimately become bitter, grief allows us to “process” it—to use a therapy-y term—and move forward. Continue reading