Let us give thanks for our shadows for they are there in the first place because of the presence of light. — Kamand Kojouri
Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on the bounty of our lives, the gifts of friendships, health, opportunity. We are not as comfortable embracing challenges as equally deserving of our gratitude. But, in therapy sessions, we often discuss the practice of learning from our hardships. Growth requires stretching, stepping outside the familiar, and sometimes involves real risk, vulnerability and pain. Bad things DO happen, and justice is not always immediate or observable. Trauma can scar us to our souls, but choosing the courage to learn the lessons from our challenges can bring us meaning and purpose when we feel lost in the darkness. We may never have the answer to “why?”, but we may still be able to unearth the gifts of resilience, grace, patience and insight from the hardships we face. This holiday season, may we be ever grateful for the goodness that surrounds us, while being willing to embrace the lessons learned only in the shadows.