Chaos exists all around us and appears to be increasing in all aspects of life today. Life as we once knew it is constantly changing. We live in an age of constant white water. Even if our life is stable at this point, we can see signs of change that will most likely impact us in some way or another and in a pretty significant way. Whether it is the economy, global warming, relationships, losing loved ones, we will experience significant change, that is a guarantee. And for those whose lives are currently experiencing chaos, we know first hand how challenging these times are.
Within the past few weeks…
- A close friend learned that his wife has cancer. He has young children and cannot help fearing the worst.
- Another friend’s wife lost her job. Yes they can get by, but not without some key challenges. One example was having to go on a new health care package where he has to cover his medication out-of-pocket which amounts to $1,500/month.
- A close friend who is over 50 has been unable to find a job in his field. His savings and retirement accounts are gone while covering expenses for his family. He is now working at a $20,000/year job to put food on the table.
- Watching as terrorism takes on a new shift.
- Reading about NASA research and the likelihood of 30 year droughts in the Southwest.
I am sure you each have your own list. The emotions are tough enough to deal with, but it is the swirl of chaos that I find most challenging. It is like a whirlpool where I find it easy to get caught in the churn. My perspective begins to change where all I begin to see is negativity, pain and fear. And soon I am fighting to stay above the water line. What is amazing is how strong these currents are, or how weak I become. We know what we need to do, but feel paralyzed to take action.
What I find amazing is that even with all of the personal growth and awareness that I have developed over my lifetime, how easy it is to fall prey to these times. I know that meditation is important to do, or taking a break for a walk by the ocean, or journaling my feelings, I teach this stuff! But why is it that I have a hard time convincing myself at these times. That is why we all need each other. Welcome to the human condition!
The good news is that my awareness finds a way to my conscious mind to help me remember. Very often for me this takes form in coincidental, or what I would suggest, synchronous events, serving as reminders. Life is indeed amazing when we are able to step outside of our hectic lives and see, really see, the amazing play of life. It is these small and brief glimpses that remind me that it is once again time to let go of the reigns and trust this greater aspect of life. This is not an easy task. It takes constant work and periods of forgetfulness to bring us back to being centered. Mostly it is about being there for each other. Gently supporting each other and compassionately, not judgmentally, suggesting an idea or if close by, getting together.
My friend Mark is wonderful at this. Our friendship goes way back to the time we were in group therapy together. Our lives have run parallel in many ways. We are able to be there for each other even though we live 3,000 miles apart.
Another activity I find helpful is listening to the stories of Near Death Experiencers. I often Google this term or YouTube it to hear new stories and go back to some of my favorites. I recall my time with Tom Sawyer (see earlier post), and the amazing experiences I had while with him and stories he would tell. It helps to ground me in the realization that there is life after death, and that life here has meaning and purpose. Going to our faith, whatever that may mean to us, is powerful since we believe in some greater aspect of life and begin to turn over our issues to this belief.
So when you find yourself back in the swirl of fear, anger, sadness, etc. be gentle and remind yourself that this is part of being human. Be careful of the guilt trips we tend to place on ourselves. Reach out to others for support. Find a way to laugh since laughter is indeed the best medicine (BTW – what ever happened to Reader’s Digest?). Within your faith and belief system, ask your greater source for help and to take this off of your shoulder for now, along with the guidance to help you with the situation. And once you are back on your path, remember to be there for others for what is the ultimate experience of humanity. loving self and others.