There are words that I do not use because of the horrible and painful history around those words. Most (all?) of these words are not in my ability or even desire to help redeem.
There are words that I do not use because they have been used and reallocated. Most (all?) of these words are in my ability or desire to help redeem.
"I am blessed" needs to and can be redeemed. Here is my contribution.
"I am blessed" is not something that I use because it has been used and reallocated by some variations of the gospel of prosperity. The vast majority of the time I hear "I am blessed" it is in relation to how much stuff (family, experiences, money, toys, etc.) a person has. It is a statement about accumulation. It is a statement, I think, meant to remind the person that all that they have is a result of something. The American gospel of prosperity says that you got all this stuff because you personally earned it with no help. The religious gospel of prosperity says that you got all this stuff because you are doing something right that pleases the god(s).
The underlying assumption in the "I am blessed" conversations is that being blessed means being independent and not having to rely on others. Although Jesus might have said it, we typically do not think that the poor, the mourning, the meek, the hungry and thirsty, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers and the persecuted (Matthew 5).
I would like to reclaim the "I am blessed" as I understand Jesus assuming it to be. Being blessed means you are one who is keenly aware of the interdependence of life.
Being poor, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemakers and/or persecuted are all situations in life that require interdependence if we are going to make it through those situations.
Being blessed, as I understand Jesus, is to be one who is aware of just how small we are in the vastness of life. It is to be aware of just how much we need one another and need God. It is to be aware of how we are all just barely making it.
You can be rich and aware of your smallness and interdependence. But, like Jesus said, it is very hard to do. It is hard to not because the accumulation of stuff is bad or evil but because the stuff allows you and I to feel independent and not interdependent.