What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

This is not the first year I’ve come to appreciate perspective, but all the change of 2010 has helped me appreciate it in a new way.

I’ve found that when something hard happens, it always feels hard to me. I can let go of all kinds of places where I’m stuck and whole bags full of stories that cause me pain, but sometimes, things are just hard.

All of the work I do with my patterns and stories and stuck seems to have gained me perspective in two ways. The first is that some corner of my being has started believing that feelings really are temporary. When we’re in the grip of strong emotion, it’s normal to feel as though we’ll always feel that way. But at one particularly gory point during this year, when I was miserable and struggling and feeling really stuck in that place, I thought I’ll always feel this bad and some calm part of me said right back No, you won’t. And damned if the calm part wasn’t right.

The other piece of perspective I’ve gained is about time and cycles. Every time I go back to a challenge I’ve worked with before, I feel hesitant because I want to know that it isn’t going to drag me back to feeling as bad as I did in the first flush of approaching it. It turns out that I probably will feel nearly that bad, but not for nearly as long. My experience with the particular challenge at hand helps me cycle out of the full-body experience of what’s hard about it more quickly as I resolve more and more pieces. Knowing this helps me get past my resistance (which is its own kind of pain) and on to the other side.

How about you? What idea or skill or object have you become grateful for this year?

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