(c) 2011 Joan M. Newcomb
It continues to be a pretty exciting time, for lots of folks. The U. S. has a hurricane the size of Europe moving up the East Coast. Just a few days ago, there was an earthquake in Virginia, wimpy by California/West Coast size, but the largest *ever* in the region. It was felt up to Canada and Midwest to Ohio. Here in DC there seemed to be little damage, but it cracked the Washington Monument, so it may never reopen.
In the midst of this, my mother fell and fractured her pelvis. It wasn't serious enough for an operation but still required 18 days in hospital. Hospitals are amazing places, they're like giant, corporate autoshops for bodies. Because Western Medicine is all about finding out what's wrong, she got a lot more tests than she ever would have normally, and after Xrays and CT scans, they finally found a spot on her lung.
The assigned oncologist went to Disney World before the results came through, so we were able to get discharged and go home to focus on physical therapy (apparently that's all you can do with this kind of fractured pelvis - practice walking around on it).
We came home yesterday and tonight Hurricane Irene is passing by. It's only going to spit in our direction, but family from Delaware had to evacuate. Other family, in Queens, is just riding it out (but they've lived through Asian Typhoons before; I'm guessing their apartment in Flushing is better built than the one they had in Taipei).
There are just *so* many disasters to react to, I just don't know where to begin!
In times like these, I fall back on several key things I've learned:
1) Don't react dramatically, even if things seem dramatic. Drama indicates what's happening isn't real. It's a magnified story, a distorted interpretation of what is really going on. It is a waste of energy to react to other's being that way, and it's a drain on your own energy to act that way. Once in a while it's okay to let off steam, but going postal doesn't create real change.
2) Earthquakes are a physical manifestation when the collective is stuck. When I look at my own life and the lives of those around me, whenever there's an earthquake, it indicates a breakthrough. If I, and those around me, are dealing with our own inner earthquakes, we're spared the geological one. Last week's earthquake in DC came after spending two weeks with my mother in hospital. After it happened, we were able to move towards discharge.
I can hear people ask - What about New Zealand? They've been having monthly aftershocks for a year. When I look at Christchurch, I'm actually seeing it as a focal point for a disintegrating global pattern, which is why it keeps continuing.
3) Disasters are an opportunity to bring out the best in humanity. Often you read of great acts of compassion, heroism, etc. after a disaster. There were amazing stories coming out of Japan after the recent Tsunami, how communities pulled together, shared resources, helped others. The greater the devastation, it seems, the greater the heart-opening.
4) Choose your roller coaster. As best you can, choose your roller coaster. If 100 mile an hour winds are coming towards your house, fretting about something else may distract you from battening down the hatches. The spot on my mother's lung was revealed after a guelling fortnight recovering from a fractured pelvis. The stay in the hospital was challenging enough; with Alzheimer's she had to be continually reminded where she was and why she was there. We'll deal with the test results and follow up procedures after we've had a couple weeks or more to physically recover from her injury.
Give yourself a break and just focus on the next indicated thing.
5) There's light at the end of the tunnel; it does get better. Whatever is going on, no matter how difficult, no matter how never-ending it seems, from the perspective of Consciousness, it's just a blink of an eye. Life in physical reality is a dip in the pool. Enjoy your splashing around until swim time is over.