Finding the Gifts

Last night’s episode of the Ex-Wives Club on ABC featured a new facet of Debbie Ford’s retreat workshop. This time it showcased the power of finding the gifts in all situations especially those past circumstances that have caused us pain or sorrow.

In the workshop, Debbie Ford handed the participants a large photo of their ex and asked them Finding the Gift in a Situationto write on the photo a list of all the gifts they received from the relationship. For some, it was a very powerful exercise in uncovering the sheer number of gifts and blessings that would never have come about if they had not been in the failed marriage. The lesson for us all? There is a gift in every situation and it is up to us to find it.

Have you ever been in a bad relationship or a lousy job and wondered what good could possibly be hidden beneath the dreary veneer? If you look (and sometimes you have to look a little deeper than other times), you are guaranteed to find a gift in there somewhere. For instance, I can think of a close friendship I had that ended several years ago. It was very painful and sad to me that a relationship that meant so much to me could just vanish in what seemed like an instant. Yet, if I look back at the relationship and even its ending, I could easily find gifts. From the relationship I received gifts such as:

  • An opportunity to hone my web expertise and internet skills in an entrepreneurial setting
  • A deeper love of music and appreciation for singer-songwriters
  • Years of fun, love, and connection
  • New spiritual perspectives and ways of being in the world

And, while at the time I didn’t want the relationship to end, I know there were huge gifts from the ending as well such as:

  • Freedom to put my interests at the forefront of my life rather than play a supporting role to someone else (that had been a long time habit of mine)
  • An impetus to really look at myself and how I show up in relationship to others
  • Time to explore my own dreams and desires and then take action

At the time it didn’t feel so full of gifts, but working through the emotions and moving on, it was imperative for me to find the gifts. If we fail to do so, we stay stuck forever attached to the person or incident in a negative way. It is like trying to live in the present and create an inspiring future with one foot (or more) stuck in the past. It is just not possible.

Think of a circumstance you are currently struggling with that isn’t how you want it to be. What gifts are hidden in this situation? What blessings are you receiving from things being exactly as they are (even if it doesn’t FEEL so much like a blessing right now)? Love to hear what you come up with; please share some thoughts in the comments.

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  1. […] Regrets are great for beating ourselves up. We look back at something we wish we would’ve done or said and then spend the next 10, 20, 30, or more years beating ourselves up for it. I know from personal experience! The problem is we can’t change nor live in the past if we want to be present in our life and really live it. Letting go and forgiving is the process of giving up the hope that the past should have been or will ever be different than it was. The only thing to do with regrets is to let them go and use them as a means to inform our present. After all, there is always a gift in a regretful situation. How can you use that gift to make more powerful choices today and in the future? […]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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