To start off this blog, I feel I should clarify what I think it means to take something or someone for granted. From my perspective, there are two ways to define this, one is fairly negative and the other positive.
When you hear the term, do you automatically think about how someone has taken advantage of someone else, or not shown appreciation or given due validity/credibility to the relationship? I think that most see this term as a slight or negative. However, there is a flip side and typical of my perspective, I’ll share both views with and without my rose colored glasses.
First, no glasses, I’ll speak to the way that I believe most see this term.
Here are two examples to set the premise of taking someone for granted in the negative frame.
1/ A long-term friendship in which two people have typically been very flexible (and forgiving) when either needed to cancel a get together or set a rain check for another time. Yet, somewhere along the line, that is taken for granted (that there will be flexibility/forgiveness) and one of them begins to feel resentful/hurt/unimportant because so many dates are cancelled or because one of them is perceived as not showing a sense of commitment or interest in maintaining the friendship. The friendship ends after many years.
2/ A couple that has been dating for a long while is beginning to get more serious and one of the partners takes it for granted that due to level of connection and exclusivity that marriage is a realistic future step, so they mention it in conversation, “Well, when we get married…”. However, the other partner has come from a difficult relationship history, so has very little interest in the idea of marriage (anytime soon). So, this simple comment becomes a conversation is not very comfortable.
Here's a couple of my own examples to the positive, rose-colored glasses feeling fine:
1/ As a child, my grandmother, whom I’ve written of often, was just crazy about me. I knew this, my family knew this and without hesitation I took this for granted. If I felt lonely, sad, angry or any feeling that wasn’t comfortable, she was my comfort. I trusted it/took it for granted and it was safe to do so. She would have literally done anything for me to make me feel loved and she was the sole person in my childhood that I deeply trusted.
2/ I often speak about being a recovering alcoholic since 1988, and one of the things that I’ve learned from as many years in this walk of life is that when I manage the four primary aspects of my recovery with balance (spiritual community, service/altruism, daily quiet time with Divinity and work with a spiritual mentor), my life just flows better. I’m far more grounded, peaceful, secure and just happier. It’s truly like a form of magic. I know the steps to take (pun intended), and I take it for granted that walking this way will always lead me to a clean conscience and stronger trust in life as a whole.
Making sense? Any dynamics in your own walk coming to mind?
So, as I’ve often contemplated the meaning of this term and chose to write about it, I started a mental list of these experiences from my own life… Here’s just a few.
As already mentioned, the first thing that I ever took for granted was my relationship and love shared with my Grandmother.
In a very childlike imagination, I also took for granted that she would never die. I was 25 when she passed. It was 1993 and I was living in California. I’d moved away from Colorado in 1986 and had seen her but a handful of times since then. I had just started a family and a new career when I got the call that she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
I specifically remember thinking that I’d go visit when she got better. I didn’t connect what the word terminal meant. I simply could not fathom her not being there, so never even seriously considered her death. Then in late February, my mother called to let me know I needed to get there if I wanted to say good-bye. I arrived three days later and she passed away less than 7 hours after my arrival.
I sincerely see the subconscious block I had here. I truly took for granted that as my children got older and it was easier for me to travel, I’d bring them to come see her and get to know her and she’d love them as she had me. I had intentions of spending birthdays, holidays and just Sunday afternoon visits. I could not even imagine her aging. She was this anchor of a soul in my life and she was eternal.
Lovingly, today, after many years of gaining metaphysical wisdom and skill, I am clear that she still is…
However, she is still one of the most difficult losses I’ve experienced of all of the loved ones that have left the Earthly plane.
The second thing I took for granted was my physical body. When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 1990, I gained 62 pounds. I was anemic, heavy and could not believe how off balance I was. However, I was sure that within a few months of her birth I’d be back to my pre-baby weight, agility and health. I did achieve pre-baby weight one time in all of these almost 32 years since she was born, but in all vulnerability and honesty, this has been one of the deeper experiences of both struggle as well as beautiful inner work towards soul healing and self-acceptance of my life. The simple summary on this one is that while I trust I am quite healthy, weight is never just weight. The balance of body, mind and spirit health is a beautiful and eye-opening path of soul evolution.
Lastly, I’ll speak to my current relationship with my awesome beau. So, we met when we were both 50. We celebrate our 4th anniversary together this May 22nd. He is a salt-of-the-earth type of soul. I take him for granted. I know that every day I’m going to laugh with him. I know that anytime I make a mistake, misstep, or am perhaps just hormonal and irritable, that he will forgive, work it out, even joke about it when it passes. I trust that no matter what we will go through, based on what we’ve already been through, that we have the capability and desire as a healthy couple to work through whatever life throws at us. I take for granted that we are there for each other good times and bad, and he takes the same for granted in me. We gifted this to one another, and at this mid-life chapter, I sincerely could not be more grateful… Well, maybe I’d be more grateful if we had met 35 years ago… Oh, the number of frogs I’ve kissed before 50…lol
I will add that I do not take for granted that I'll/we'll have this forever. I believe we will grow old together, but as I've witnessed and experienced grief in so many forms, I do know that one day one of us will go first, and will miss/grieve the other deeply. I believe that is precisely why we do take all of the other for granted in that healthier, mort trusting and committed way. Will true sincerity, I wish this for all of you that seek it.
Ok, that’s me… How about you?
What do you take for granted? Positive or negative? Did this stir a thought in you that you need to either show some more gratitude and reciprocation? Or perhaps just allow you a sense of deeper appreciation for something that you too CAN take for granted in that beautiful trusting way?
Thank you for reading. Your replies, emails, comments, and sometimes even the feisty feedback, is all beautiful. I’d truly love to hear your thoughts here.
With appreciation you can take for granted,