Blessed: 1 a: held in reverence : venerated <the blessed saints> b: honored in worship : hallowed <the blessed Trinity> c: beatific <a blessed visitation>
2: of or enjoying happiness ; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person
3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune (from the online Merriam Webster dictionary)
Feeling blessed? More blessed than usual? I’m not surprised being “blessed” is in the air. We Americans latch on to phrases. Much like buying into fashion fads even if it doesn’t work well on our body, age on personality. I first became aware of “blessed” trending in after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Those escaping said they were “blessed”. After the most horrific tornado on May 3rd 1999 which devastated sixteen city blocks in Moore Oklahoma, people being interviewed that lost their homes, all their belongings, their neighbor, their dog and could have had their child ripped from their arms and land in a field yards away were more likely than not to say they were “blessed”. For me it rang as odd. For if one assumes that God blesses those who survive why did God not bless those who did not survive? This burning question is why I am not planning to use “blessed” any time soon as it refers to my life and me. Feeling “blessed” use to be purview of those ascribing to religious and spiritual beliefs but now even those self proclaimed atheist use the word willy-nilly. Add to their ranks pro athletes, politicians, rap singers and scantily clad beauty pageant winners, and all manner of twitterers and the word (lets face it) has lost its impact. Let me “break it down” for you. (A phrase being overused on local news and weather)
Not that I am ungrateful for my circumstances. My life is in a good place with wins balancing out the losses. Most days I feel positive, ready to spread my emotional wealth. At rare times you might hear me acclaim I fell lucky. Lucky because through no effort on my part something or someone wonderful happens in my life, like the fortune of being raised by intelligent caring parents. But most often I have put out an effort or walked through a door opportunity, making my own luck.
It is perhaps my hyper-awareness of emerging word patterns that makes me weary of hackneyed phrasing. (Note this is an observation rather than a critique of the usage.) I went to Catholic schools so it is not surprising that the “blessed” as it is used today is not the meaning I grew up with. Bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune, is the 3rd definition in the Merriam dictionary and is the meaning that it has most often taken on today. Will “feeling blessed” fade away like the trend phrases “seeming endless”; “paradigm” and “very unique or like the word “awesome” will it lose the halo it once wore?
FYI at this date Google lists 48,700,000 entries for blessed and only 1,400,000 for cursed.