I have some memories of myself somewhere in space-time getting excited and declaring that all prior disasters were in fact a “blessing in disguise” and without them I thought I would not have this-and-that. I also observed others declaring similar statements. In all those cases a parallel universe where the same and maybe some additional advances are attained without the same disasters – it’s just getting swept under the carpet. Perhaps because in some way it’s kind of depressing to think of and it may diminish the gratitude one is trying to express. Well, “that which can be destroyed by the truth should be”. It seems to me that to be rationally grateful is to say “I’ve got this and that, and it’s valuable enough for me in this moment” in contrast to “I’ve got this and that, and it could be worse” because, well, it could be “better”. Or just different.

In nonviolent communication it’s not enough to say “thanks for all” to express gratitude – this form is kind of like a candy wrapper without a candy. The full form includes sharing of: 1/ one’s needs which were met, 2/ by which actions, 3/ and how one feels about it now. This form can be used in the interpersonal communication, but surprisingly it’s also suitable for the communication with oneself. For example, one may say “My needs for self-expression and financial safety were met by my actions of finding and getting an interesting job, and I feel grateful and confident now”. It can be continued to appreciate the actions of colleagues, business owner, and any other people.

The concept of “blessing in disguise” implies that one is not fully aware of own needs, but somehow gets them met via an inefficient costly strategy by coincidence. Coincidence is a mystery, so the whole process is mysterious. It may also involve some kind of “trust in universe”. That is, if I’m not aware of the actions which resulted in my need getting met, I may express gratitude toward the universe, deity or whatever. And it seems to me like a waste of empathy, if the actual humans meanwhile become deprived.

P.S. I imagine my need for understanding being met by you who reads this, and I feel grateful and confident then!