Peace in the Midst of the Storm

There is such an inner struggle in many of us these days — Success vs. Failure — and often, fear of both. It’s ok. Each of them has something to teach us.

At the same time, there is a sense that we have very little time left, as though the 7-headed dragon is breathing down our necks, getting closer and closer with each step we take.

How do we escape the sense of impending doom?  Perhaps we cannot.

Perhaps, rather than escape, perhaps we should embrace it.   Embrace each moment of our lives as something truly precious, knowing that there may only be a few more.

When I was a kid, I hated playing Tag. “TAG! You’re it!” someone would yell as I felt a hard Whack! on my arm. I didn’t mind being the one who was doing the chasing, even though I was always too slow to catch anyone.

But I hated being chased. The sense that someone was behind me, trying to grab me — I hated that sensation! I would stop, plug my ears and close my eyes and just let them get me.

Life sometimes feels like a giant game of Tag. You may feel that Doom is the one doing the chasing — or that perhaps his name is “Impending Disaster.”

When I feel this way at times, I just want it to hurry up. I want to stop, plug my ears, shut my eyes, and let it grab me, just like I did on the playground so many years ago.

Yet “it” — whatever “it” is — sometimes terrifies us more. So we keep running and try to act as though nothing is wrong and all things will continue undisturbed.

You may at times feel as though we are all on the Titanic, heading for that damned iceberg. You may look at young couples, eagerly having babies, and wonder, “How is it that they are not terrified? Are they, like me, just keeping their noses above the water line, trying to go ahead as though nothing is wrong?” Probably not. With youth comes the gift of eternal optimism.

When these thoughts plague you, stop and ask yourself:

What if we’ve come to the world for just such a time as this?

What if it is our destiny to be here, now?

My mom often speaks of her beautiful house. She loves East Tennessee, but even more she loves that house.  For me, it is not my house that I love. It is nature. I walk outside and every single time, there is something amazing to see. The clouds. The stars. The mountains! The mountains change every time I look at them! Sometimes they are pink, sometimes they are blue.

We’ve been getting a lot of rain here in the desert, the likes of which the locals say they haven’t seen here in years. Everything is awash in color! All sorts of shades of green, blue, and salmon. And little flowers blooming everywhere! Bushes full of yellow blooms and fushia-colored Four O’Clocks. Every two weeks, it seems, something new is blooming that I haven’t seen before.

And then I realize — How can I not LIVE?!! With LIFE teeming all around me — birds and bugs and snakes and animals and trees and grass and flowers — all of them living with such intensity, such GUSTO! The joy is palpable. I feel it every time I walk outside. These creatures are not living with a sense of doom. They just enjoy every moment. They just LIVE.

Of course, it is easier to love it here when it rains. For a while in June, I felt a sense of desperation when it didn’t rain for a few weeks. Each day was hot and dry with relentless sunshine. Not a cloud to be seen anywhere.

But life is a series of experiences and seasons. We are here to love and accept it all: The dry and the wet. The sparse and the abundant. The cold and the hot. It all counts. It all matters. It all teaches us to be more accepting and compassionate — if we let it!

So do not allow the events of the world to steal your sense of life, itself. Sometimes you will despair and sometimes you will laugh. When you see a headline that grips your soul and makes you cry in anguish — stop and send love to those affected in whatever way your belief system allows. If there is something tangible you can do to help, do it. And when things are happening that are beyond your control, step outside and rejoice in a blade of grass, a flower, a child’s laughter, or a puppy’s clumsy joy.

The world will become a better place as we all focus on that which is good about this life. The great Washington, D.C. meditation experiment proved that our intentions, our meditations on peace and love, really can affect those around us. We can calm the anger and hatred with our love.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have made it this far, I know you are a caring person who wants to make a difference in this world. And you can.

 

 

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