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Weathering The ‘Storms’ of Life
By Art Ramsay

Seasons come and go, and with them come heat, cold, thunder storms, rain, hail, sleet, snow, wind, and all sorts of mixtures of these weather elements. With each of these ‘storms’, we learn ways to deal with them and get through our lives safely. We learn to choose our own pathways through these encounters, and move on with our lives despite inconveniences or even ‘disasters’.

 Our daily lives can be viewed in a similar way as the above descriptions of climatic weather changes. Each day is a new day, and brings with it whatever this day has to offer us. We have the opportunity to respond to events of our new day just as we do at the beginning of a new season.

 It is interesting to view how the weather people give us information of what we should do and not do, and ways to prepare for the ‘worst’ forecasted possibilities. Should we live our lives this way? I think not. If we did we would always be looking for the worst and preparing for it. If we continually did that, we would bring the very thing we were attempting to avoid, to us.

 Remember, “what you focus on, expands” (from a previous article with that title). Suppose we began each day not ‘expecting’ anything and just ride the waves, or “go with the flow”? Is this better than planning for the worst (but expecting the best) as the saying goes? Or is there something in the middle of these two extremes?

 The ‘storms’ of life will always be here, whether it is something simple as stubbing your toe, or caring for someone close to you and watch them die of a debilitating disease. I have said in many articles that we create and control our lives; we are the captain’s of our ship. But how do we take charge of what life seems to throw at us?

 The answer is both simple and complex. The simple part is to identify how what is happening affects you. How do you feel about it? What is your first response to it? Once you have brought your feelings to the surface, you can deal with them. You want to do this in the moment; don’t put it off and let things go deeper. You can do this while physically doing what needs to be done relative to the ‘storm’.

 Accept what is happening or happened; there is no point resisting the experience, especially if it has already occurred and is over. The whole aspect of enlightenment is to handle things in a peaceful, loving, matter-of-fact way. Remember the man who chopped wood and carried water, went up on the mountain to become enlightened, and then returned to chop wood and carry water. All that changed was HOW he did what he did and his feelings about it.

 Accepting is the not the same as ‘liking’. Just because you accept something or someone as they are, does not mean you like it; you can accept something/someone for what it is/who they are, and still not like it/them. Remember the saying, “this too will pass” and hang in there through the ordeal knowing there is a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak.

 The complex part of ‘weathering the storms’ is identifying where the ‘storm’ came from; why it happened. In some circumstances this part may be unnecessary. You are looking for what it is telling you; everything brings a message. The message, however, may not be discerned until sometime later, so do not get discouraged. I still have not figured out some messages months old.

 Nothing shows up ‘out of the blue’ although it may seem so. Everything has a cause, and you are experiencing the effect. Does this matter? Experiencing the effect may be easier if you know how it originated, especially if you do not want to go through it again. I find that once I determine the cause of an event that happens repeatedly, I can then stop doing or eliminate whatever was the cause.

 We are the root of ‘causes’ in our lives. That isn’t to say all things that happen in our lives are directly caused by us; but how we deal with it, the effect, is. This is one reason to determine the cause. If we were not the basis of its cause, then dealing with the effect(s) may be very different, because if I caused it then I can find its source.

 The one thing you do not want to do no matter what the circumstance is lose your center. That is, if you stay centered in a calm, rational way, moving through a process of what needs to be done, you will get through the situation easier. The best way to stay centered is to remember who you are as a Spiritual Being. Knowing that you are not a victim in anyway no matter what, will take the edge off feeling sorry for yourself.

 Even if you go though the experience of a “Super Storm” like hurricane Sandy landing in the northeast U.S. this week, knowing who you are as a Spiritual Being will give you an edge to weather even this in a calm and knowing way. My mom, aged 98, just experienced this storm and not once during our conversations did she sound fearful of what might happen.

 How you live each day, how you prepare yourself spiritually for the possibility of a Sandy experience, where you center yourself: your head or your heart, will make all the difference when the ‘storms of life’ come upon you. A heart-based life, centered in knowing who you are, and feeling Oneness with all of life will get you through anything easily.


 

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