St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, which brings to mind the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’. I never use the word luck anymore, because I feel that we are fortunate instead of lucky. And because we’re fortunate, sometimes the unfortunate things that happen to us actually happen for us. Let’s dig into luck vs. fortune, and blessings in disguise.

Luck or fortune?

First, let’s talk about the difference between luck and fortune. Luck is when something happens that has nothing to do with one’s own actions. It can also be a mystical force that causes good or bad things to occur. It can also be something that brings about positive or negative influence, like a ‘lucky rabbit’s foot’.

Fortune is different, in that it speaks more to destiny or fate instead of a talisman or random chance. It’s closest aligned to a blessing, or lack thereof. People will say, “I’m fortunate to have people who care deeply about me”, or “I’m blessed to have a job that allows me to help so many people”.

Luck is whimsical, while fortune is stalwart. And even though I’ve gone through significant loss in my life, I am fortunate enough to be able to share what I’ve learned with all of you.

Blessings in Disguise

There’s a song called Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks. In this song, the lyrics talk about how he (the protagonist of the story) goes to a football game with his wife. He sees the girl he thought he wanted to be with when he was in high school. He prayed that he would get that girl, but it didn’t happen. And then he looks at his wife, and realizes that he was blessed to have her, because she was the one that is right for him—not the girl he had prayed for.

The moral of the story is that sometimes we think we know what would be best for us, but life has a way of showing us that the things that happen (or don’t happen) to us are not what is best for us.

The song is a very poignant example of this, but there are little things that happen everyday that are shining examples of how things that seem to happen to us are actually for us. If you get behind a slow driver, consider what dangers on the road you may have missed if you were speeding along. If you receive an unexpected phone call and have to take time out of your day to handle an issue, think about what would have happened if you weren’t able to take that call.

The extrapolations of ‘what if’ are endless, but the gist of it is this: You never know what may happen to you in another circumstance, so take a moment to reframe your thinking when you’re stuck in a circumstance where things are happening to you. Instead, try to think of how it could be happening for you.

Do you have an example of a blessing in disguise that you’d like to share? Feel free to comment!

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,

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