“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~Paul Coelho
There have been more shocking and devastating world events in recent memory than I can keep up with. Hurricane Sandy. Sandy Hook Shooting. Shooting at Portland Mall. Australian wildfires. Club Fire in Brazil. Hurricane Nemo. Earthquake in China. Bangladesh Factory Collapse. Boston Bombing. Texas Plant Explosion. Floods in Midwest. Tornadoes in Oklahoma.
So much loss. Devastation. Pain. Piled one on top of the other with little time to regain our footing in between.
I can hear that fearful place inside me questioning, “Is this how it's going to happen? Is this the beginning of the end? Is nature finally gonna take us out for what we've done, or are we just gonna take each other out?”
And I fall into that spiral of anger, frustration, and endless questioning, feeling my energy getting dragged down and down.
I want to crawl into my hermit-y, safe shell and hide, and resolve in the fact that people are screwed up, and nature is ultimately in control, and there's nothing I can do about it except wallow and whine about how no one's doing anything about it.
And I can hear that fearful place inside me wondering, “Why? Why there? Why those people? Why kids? What's going to happen? Should I be scared? Prepared? Worrying? Ramshackling together a bunker in my garage? What am I supposed to do?”
So I do all I can do. Clutching my loved ones a little tighter to my chest, I keep going.
My fear usually continues until the day after comes. Until we know it's over. And then the fear and anxiety releases in a flood of relief as love comes in to fill its place.
On the day after, there is hope. Incredible tales of resilience, courage, and survival. Amazing stories of heroism, selflessness, and grace.
Suddenly, we feel spared, lucky. Yes, look at all we've lost, but look at all there is left to be grateful for.
Suddenly, we are reminded that life is only about the people around us and that it's all, and always, about love.
Neighbors, strangers, communities coming together. Nations rapt in attention, holding their breath. In those moments, we experience our oneness. In those moments, we shift from a modality of competition into one of cooperation. In those moments, we can actually feel the truth that we're all in this together. It's palpable.
Could that be why these horrific events keep happening? Their rate seeming to steadily increase since 2013 dawned and we were ushered into a new era.
It seems we need a collective shift in consciousness; our entire energy needs to be raised.
And unfortunately, it often takes shock to knock us out of our hypnotic day-to-day enough that we wake up, rise up, and come together. It takes a shock for us to start questioning why we're here and what it's all about.
It feels like the something greater out there has two gigantic defibrillator paddles on the Earth's heart and is trying to shock us back to life. Clear. Hurricane! Shooting! Tornado! Bombing! Come on. Wake up. Come back to us.
And in those moments when we do wake up and act out of courage, act out of conviction, act out of love, we feel it: lucky just to be alive. Grateful for this moment, this one, right here. We can't believe how blessed we must be to be alive right now, having this experience.
We feel connected. On purpose. Like we're here for a reason. Like it all matters. And that's how we're meant to feel everyday. Not just through trauma and pain, but in our good ole, average ordinary.
Miracles are not extraordinary events; they are happening all around us, all the time. It just often takes extraordinary events for us to see them and realize they've been here all the while.
I think that if we can take one message from the sadness that's surrounded our world lately, one possible why, is that only by witnessing the dark can we know what the light is.
That light exists within all of us, and once we know where the switch is, we can turn it on every single day—not just in our darkest moments.
It is wholly within our power and responsibility to feel lucky, and grateful, and amazed just to be alive. Just to be a part of it all.
It's wholly within our power and responsibility to shine our individual lights as brightly as possible so that when we come together, the darkness will have no fighting chance. We'll obliterate it.
From my perspective, our response to all these inner-light-switching events as of late just confirm to me, more now than ever, that our future looks positively bright.
Photo by Hartwig HKD