Lessons from a Hurricane (6)
As the weeks passed and I lived with the changes in my world, one of my responses was to try to tame the chaos. It didn’t work so well!
I’m both an internally, naturally ordered person (strong ‘J’ on MBTI) and one who is wired for change (#1 on the Enneagram). Change is usually something I take fairly easily. Twice I’ve lived with jack hammers at work as I’d sit with someone in a pastoral session. I can do that. I can live with renovations and their upheaval in my home as well. But this hurricane was different. I found myself stretched to my limits.
I found my ability to accept change was dried up. It was as though I had changed and I no longer enjoyed the stimulation and creativity that change normally gave me. I remember one time years ago when I was very worn out and I arrived at a retreat centre which was my spiritual home to find my Spiritual Director excited about the changes he had made in the chapel. He’d move the furniture so it would be more open, less formal. I entered the chapel and said, ‘NO! I can’t stand the change!’ He gracious moved one set of chairs into the old format for me so I could pretend that something in my life hadn’t changed.
The current hurricane reminded me of how many people regularly feel when change enters their life – irritated, angry, exhausted, or confused. I was also reminded of what it’s like to grieve and recognize that many of these responses came from grief that I was experiencing. Life was no longer the same. The responsibilities that I had were different. The relationships that I knew had changed. The dreams that I had held about the future were evaporating.
One of the strongest lessons for me was the call to the present moment. Providentially I had signed up for The Mindfulness Summit for the month of October and it became a grounding part of Hurricane Survival Kit. God’s Precious Spirit taught me to let go of the past, to hold the future very lightly and to be more open to this moment. To breathe deeply, walk slowly and be very, very still.
I couldn’t tame the chaos that whirled around me as change after change kept happening. And I could learn to be very, very still, trusting the Eternal One who knows all, and is ALWAYS present. TRUST.
Are there changes in your life right now? How are you coping? What have you learnt from your experiences of trying to tame the chaos?
Love and prayers
Community Leader (Canada) Contemplative Fire