Thankful for the Crappy, Unfair, Hurtful Things

Put on your running shoes or your walking shoes. I'll even take your hiking boots if you want to dust them off. Just get ready to move.

Now, it's up to you if you want to pack a drink and a snack. This might take awhile.


OK. It's time to head out and keep moving until you reach perspective.

Yes, you heard me right. 

And no, I haven't prematurely gotten into the holiday wine. 

What I'm suggesting is that sometimes, with enough distance, we may be surprised to learn we are thankful for some (or even all) of the crappy, unfair, hurtful, things that have happened to us.

*Note: Being thankful does not have to mean those crappy, unfair, hurtful things (or the people that inflicted them upon us) were good. 

What I'm really saying is that life is often out of our control and it often has the ability to upset us. On a good day, we can adequately manage most of the nonsense. But even so, there are still things that will make us feel bad.

Sometimes for a really long time.

Until one day we've put enough distance between ourselves and the crappy, unfair, hurtful things. And then, at the end of a long and twisty road where there was no previous visibility...we might find something to be thankful for. 

Those moments always surprise me. They happen all the time, but they still have the ability to take me off guard. So, this month, I'll try to put on my running shoes and sneak up on them for a change.

What is the darkest moment you've walked away from, only to later find out that you're thankful for it?


  1. As Mary Oliver said so beautifully, "Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift." Thank you for an excellent post to shine the light on perspective. My gift from cancer is that I didn't have the courage to cut off my long hair or the wisdom to know how to gracefully stop coloring it. That decision was made for me, and I love having super short, gray hair. A stranger told me I look like Carol from Walking Dead. Since my current box full of darkness is Kinder Morgan/TGP's Northeast Energy Direct 30" gas pipeline proposal to be buried 400 feet from my daughter's pillow, I could use all the qualities Carol has used to survive!

    1. I love your hair now--so I'm so glad you ended up with that "silver lining." I am confident that in all things, you will come out ahead in the end. FYI I wouldn't want to be the pipeline people. (((((hugs)))))

  2. Kimmie, I'm a big fan of your writing because you seem to capture what's in my soul... but this post is pure magic because I am currently reeling from a crappy, unfair, hurtful thing. In my case, it's the dreaded Facebook unfriend feature. Someone I greatly admire and respect just... disappeared. No explanation. That leaves me to obsess over my history -- what could I have said or done to hurt or anger this person so much? Is there anything crueler than to delete a person from your life? I can't figure out what upsets me more -- knowing I upset someone I so greatly admire or that she in turn cared so little for me as to toss me to the curb with the rest of the recycling... Regardless, the unexpected benefit to this cruelty was a sudden flash of insight for the ending of the book I'm currently writing, a book a conversation with you inspired. (I hope you remember this!) The story was a challenge to write from the first page and then, suddenly, the pain and worry I felt from this Facebook 'ghosting' experience took over and created an opportunity for a different ending, one that I'm actually proud of. I can't reveal all the details but I will tell you this... in my version, the person doing the unfriending had the courage to tell the other person why. So in a very odd and surreal way, feeling this outrage and hurt helped me write a better that wouldn't have been possible for me had this not happened.


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