What a week! Three natural disasters in one week wreaks havoc on every imaginable level…and tends to raise lots of questions in our minds once the initial event passes. As I have watched the news and listened to people I have had many reactions leading me to think about what questions are really useful, and helpful as we digest and move forward from such a tragedy?
Some of the comments/questions that are floating around:
Mother Nature is powerful, worthy of awe and respect.
Of course and we can learn much from her if we only listen, observe and integrate what we learn instead of simply circling the wagons of thought.
Is the Earth angry and rebelling in our mistreatment of her?
We can move along quickly from here. What is the purpose of asking the question?
Are people fundamentally good, compassionate and generous in time of need?
The evidence here is overwhelmingly positive for a “Yes” answer. Heroes emerge everywhere during a disaster and remind us of what is good and possible within each one of us. There is a lot of room for exploration here about what is an expression of soul when unbound by the usual ego constraints. Most everyday heroes report not having given a thought to their own well being or to the wisdom of doing what they did, they simply did what was to be done in the moment. Some observe that this kind of behavior arises from a higher aspect of our nature—a non-ordinary part of ourselves.
Is God punishing us for misdeeds?
Choose which deeds dependent on where you feel you need support for your opinion, or fear retribution. My opinion– if God is all we have been taught by all traditions throughout time to believe, He/She would hardly be prone to using natural disasters to get our attention or punish us. An all -powerful Being would certainly have other creative means to communicate. But this viewpoint is effective in sidestepping responsibility on our human part.
How could this happen?
Why didn’t they…? (fill in with whatever aspect of behavior/response/happening rivets your attention)
These questions are all understandable and natural as we seek knowledge and understanding of our world. However focusing on these type of questions or the accompanying platitudes can serve to prevent deeper exploration that could be more fruitful. It is not that there is not merit to exploring the reasons for our weather and environmental events, but that seems best left to scientists and engineers to sort out. For me or any other average person to spend a lot of time philosophizing and postulating about the reasons why, or telling and retelling stories, or endlessly describing or reflecting on events and others’ reactions may be fascinating at first but ultimately distracts and stymies what could truly be empowering for each of us. It may be only human, as well as safer to focus as described above, but does it lead to doing what we each can do to become better citizens of the earth?.
We live within a mysterious multi-verse. There are many questions that are fascinating regarding it and the list may be endless. We do need to ask and explore at that broad level, but not to the level where we permanently abandon our own inner universe. We need to come back to ourselves and explore the depths of our being and how we relate to and inhabit the mystery we live with.
So the questions that occur to me once I have been completely informed about an event and done whatever I could for safety and responsible action as well as to contribute to the relief of those less fortunate are:
If I am hung up on a particular aspect of what is happening and really stuck on it, having issues with itâ‚¬Â¦what is that showing me that I need to pay attention to about me?
How do I feel? What is my response? Is this helpful?
How am I going to process these feelings?
Which feelings simply need to be felt and released and which feelings require action?
What are my feelings telling me about myself?
What fears arise and need compassion, kindness or healing?
How do I need to address my vulnerabilities when they arise?
As I look to what is arising in me does it change how I want to live my daily life?
If I were to look at my relationships in light of the fragility of life, how would I respond differently?
We are living through intense times. Out of the box thinking and approaches are necessary if we are to evolve in a healthy, stress free way. The starting point must be within each one of us. Our approach needs to be a balanced one that includes dealing with our physical nature, our psychology and our spirituality.
In the end our authentic power lies in the present with ourselves. We are spiritual beings and ultimately safe and good, however at the moment we are in a bio-body-suit (term coined by William Tiller) and need to attend to all of ourselves. Once we attend to our own inner environment we create a more positive ripple effect out to the world at large.
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