The burden of blessings

Posted: May 11, 2012 in Cancer, Friends, Gifts, Health, Musings, Personal
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Are you blessed?  Do you ever feel the weight of those blessings?  I’m very blessed but sometimes it feels like a problem.  Or like the weight bar in the picture below, crushing me underneath.

Maybe a “problem” is overstating or mislabeling the feeling.  Guilt?  Burden?  Maybe that’s closer.

I have online (and in-person) friends who often struggle with money or with health problems or family issues or some other type of difficult situation.  Some of these issues are on-going; others seem to crop up with distressing regularity.  The uphill climb is endless.  Sometimes I can hardly read their emails.  Makes me feel as though I’m skating through life effortlessly.

We do have things that are difficult; times when finances are tight.  But when I look at the problems faced by these friends or people all over the country or world, I feel bad.  I buy clothes at the thrift store not because I couldn’t buy them elsewhere but because I have other things I’d rather do with the money, such as save it or invest it (and I love a good bargain.)  I bought an iPad with money I earned selling chèvre at the farmers market, but I didn’t have to have one and I could have used the money elsewhere.  I agonized for weeks about buying it and felt guilty afterwards.   I don’t eat out a lot, but I could if I wanted to.  It’s not that I don’t love to eat out and love great food; I’m just too frugal.   (It’s a family gene that’s difficult to fight!)

I felt bad mentioning that I was going to go to Costa Rica (even though it was a gift from my daughter), because I know so many people only dream of a trip like that, let alone the trips I take in the States.  I don’t like to mention any health issues I might have, because so many people have much worse health, including my husband getting cancer or our daughter’s allergies.   And when I’m having a down day or feel like things are piling up, I know that it’s generally not from any real problem but from some smaller, unimportant thing or things that I just need to deal with.  The really bad thing is that I don’t even feel like I should complain because I know so many people have it much worse…and sometimes I want to complain and get some sympathy!!

I know my friends don’t feel as if I’m lording it over them if I talk about an upcoming trip or even that I bought an iPad.  They don’t expect me to feel bad and they’re concerned if I’m feeling down.  I realize there’s no real reason for me to feel guilty.  My husband has a good job and works hard and extremely long hours for his salary.  I work hard at using that salary wisely.  We’ve done without a lot of things throughout the years so that we could save and invest and hopefully afford one day to retire or at least work only part time at something he or we like.  We try to use our time, money and friendships to help as many people as we can.  Each of us has had problems we’ve faced and worked through or are still working through.  We’re not untouched; just touched by difficulties in different ways, ways that might not always seem obvious.

I am thankful for my/our blessings, even when they sometimes feel like things to hide, rather than to embrace.  I think that the “guilt” (which isn’t precisely what I feel), the feeling that I shouldn’t mention blessings, is more a burden to try to do good with what we’re given, a reminder not to take it for granted, not to feel that we deserve any of those blessings because of anything we did or who we are.  That kind of burden I can live with and try to live up to.  I’ll try to use that burden as a reminder that those blessings are given to me by God to be used for Him and for others as well as for me and my family.  But you might hear me complain a little anyway sometimes.   I’m only human!

  1. billgncs says:

    you are my blessing