Saturday, January 25, 2014

Forces of Nature

I've said this before but I think it warrants saying again ... I have been writing for a long, long time. For most of that long, long time my work remained in notebooks, on shelves and later on my hard drive.

I was looking through a portfolio of papers earlier today and came upon an article that I had written back in 2011 ... it was handwritten and had been ripped out of a notebook. I was somewhat annoyed by the fact that I would have to type it into the computer and I've never been a very good typist. 

Well, lo and behold, I found the article in one of my computer folders and decided it was definitely something I wanted to share with you !!

The actual date I wrote the article was 11/17/11.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Melody Beattie has got to be one of the most brilliant people I have ever come across. Her insight and wisdom never cease to astound me.

Case in Point: 

"Dark Days" by Susan Schanerman
The last 2 weeks or so have been incredibly heavy for me. I know that in tough times, one of the first things we need to do is to be gentle with ourselves. Nurture .. Support … Comfort …

There are times when I have to hurt through a situation and when this happened, the choice is not whether to hurt or not to hurt but what I do while I am hurting.” Courage to Change Daily reader from Al-Anon

If it’s too much to do for ourselves and by ourselves ... then we need to ask for help. Sometimes that may feel risky but the results are usually worth it.

But I digress ... back to Melody Beattie. It was 11 weeks ago (I’ll explain how I know in a minute) ... I woke up and was compelled to go to one of my bookcases and my eyes were guided to one of Melody Beattie’s books entitled 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact – Meditations for Connecting with God, Self and Others. Curiously, I had never read the book and who knows how long it had been on the shelf.

As the title describes, the book is broken down into 52 weeks and each week addresses a different life issue/value. The book’s intent is to have us examine these simple life values so that we can get to that place where we feel and know that all is right with the world. Some call it Nirvana or the Kingdom of Heaven … others just call it having Conscious Contact.

I’m now at Week 11 ... that’s how I knew exactly when I started. Today I needed more and I diverted from the sequence and looked through the chapter titles. When I spied Weathering the Storms, I knew that was what I needed today.

No one would ever stop and question the storms that occur in nature … they come ... and they go ... that’s just the way it is … things are the way they are…

But when it comes to the personal storms in life, it’s quite a different matter. Or is it?

"New Day Dawning" by Susan Schanerman
I'm talking here about those situations where our lives are severely impacted … Job loss … Financial crises … Car breakdown ... Discord in our relationships ... Loss of a loved one ...

In many cases, the circumstances are not a consequence of anything we did or didn’t do. Of course, if we didn’t pay the electric bill and the power is turned off ... well, that’s a different story.

If we ascribe to the belief that everything happens for a reason ... then the storms have nothing at all to do with us ... but there is usually something for us to learn.

In the midst of our personal storms, however, we don’t necessarily need to understand the lesson. We do need to don our weatherproof gear or just get inside.

This remark I found particularly interesting … “Guilt is a part of grief. Often when a storm comes up, it involves a loss …"

Little storms of despair, hopelessness or self-hatred may squall up out of nowhere in our lives. We can hunker down and protect ourselves even when the storm is inside us." - - Melody Beattie

Bottom line ... the forces of nature just are what they are. They come and they go. Sometimes they leave wreckage in their wake.

But, eventually, the sun will shine again. Spring will always follow winter. Warmth will replace the cold ... Whether it is the natural world or our personal world

We certainly have no control over the weather or the natural world. All we can do is protect ourselves and wait for the storms to move on or wear themselves out.

Not much different in our personal worlds. The first and foremost thing is to protect ourselves from the storm and its effects … Remember to be grateful when the storm is over and the sun shines again.

Like everything else in life ... these, too, will always pass …

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