Unwanted Blessings

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When painful things come to you, look deeper. They may be blessings in disguise.

When my friend Nora was 24, she married Fredrik, her tall, good-looking high school sweetheart. She supported him through medical school and residency in San Francisco, working as a counselor. When they returned to Wisconsin, she gave up her job to raise their son Arne; then aged two, now 12.

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9 Responses to Unwanted Blessings

  1. Paul Ernsberger says:

    David, I identify with your friend Nora. After moving out from my narcissistic ex-wife, I had immediate relief from high blood pressure and I have not had a high reading since. After 15 years of having loose stool 6 times a day, I overnight became normal and no longer needed daily lomotil. Because of draconian levels of alimony to my ex (who is a social worker) I must live in a high crime area of the inner city. Yet I have never been happier.

  2. Gina says:

    Thank you.. Needed to read.. Helped me to be thankful to what is at hand.

  3. Flo Kelly says:

    David, I don’t respond to you after I read each of your stories, but I think about them and smile and love the way you are so in touch with things that slip by me. You also help me put in words what I have felt for a while.

  4. Marjorie Hamilton says:

    My most spiritual time was after my husband died in a car accident. Dealing with everything put me in a rare and special space. I knew I couldn’t live there all the time and was sad when I knew I had to return to life as we live it now. It was amazing though….

  5. Mitchell Dinnerstein says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. It is beautifully written and very touching. There is really no benefit in being negative. You seem to have a way to get joy from life. I wish you all the best.


  6. Linda Martin says:

    Thanks for sharing. I experienced something very similar to Nora except my marriage didn’t last as long. I had become almost completely disabled from a nerve condition that all the doctors seemed unable to do anything with. My husband left me, I lost my job and had to move back in with my parents. I thought my life was over. Then I started taking long walks on my parents’ farm, trying to relax and spending a lot of time talking to God. My physical, mental and spiritual life took a complete 180 degree turn over the next 6 months. I would say looking back after 40 years that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve been able to complete college, work and now looking forward to retirement.

    By the way I love “Call The Midwife” shows on PBS. And I look forward to reading your blog every time. Keep up the good work.

  7. Patricia Monagle says:

    Your writings are always so positive and “upbeat”. I admire your mental clarity and brilliance, and I really admire your perseverance and your readings of the sages which are so uplifting to me. You are very brave, David, and your perseverance along these introspective lines would be in keeping with your wonderful mother, June. I really liked your question to the woman on the bus and your realization that we cannot generalize such remarks for use in all situations.

    Love, Tricia

  8. Jamal Mogannam says:

    Hi David. Thank you for writing. You story prompted me to remember a few things that help settle my soul when I’m stuck or troubled (all of which are easier said than done):
    Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
    Gratitude turns everything I have into enough.
    Count your blessings.
    Maintain a positive mindset.
    Let my thoughts and actions be guided by grace, acceptance, gratitude and tranquility.

    Again, thank you for writing.

  9. Jon Nelson says:

    I was just thinking about my first wife. Our relationship was a constant power struggle. We were mutually abusive and it seemed as though she was determined to cut me off from everything I loved in life. The thing is that during my years with her I had a series of profound mystical experiences. They caused a complete transformation. I have not had similar experiences since I left her. I could never tolerate the kind of dysfunction that I tolerated with her and I would never tolerate the kind of behavior from myself that I could easily justify back then. I know I could never have had those experiences if I was contented. My unhappy marriage forced me to go far beyond the limits of ego and conscious mind. If I’d said, “I hate this marriage” and left, without confronting myself I would have ended up behaving exactly the same in another miserable relationship. In some ways I’m grateful for that awful marriage.

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