There are moments in our lives when we just need to pause. Sometimes that is when we experience a significant loss. Houston and many parts of Texas are going through that now. The extreme devastation resulting from Hurricane Harvey is beyond anyone’s expectation. The meteorologists and historians don’t really have a historical reference for it. They are saying a once in a 500 year occurrence but that isn’t even a realistic reference. We just know this is something no one living has ever seen and we don’t have any record books that have anything like it.
Similar to the eclipse just one week ago, no matter who wants to debate global climate change, no one can debate the torrential rains hitting Houston and Texas right now. You don’t even have to say you agree with climate change, it doesn’t even matter. The evidence is clear with the five feet of rain. You don’t even have to say you agree with science, the eclipse happened. Stay in denial if you choose.
So, what do you do when you’ve done all you can in any situation where the evidence is overwhelming … you stand and let the evidence speak for itself. And then you decide what you can do, what you can control and take the next step forward.
This applies also when life throws us unexpected losses of loved ones and close friends. When you least imagined it could happen. Even months afterwards, when it is still hard to believe, so what do you do? Of course there is a gospel song that says you just stand. That’s hard to do because you don’t want to be paralyzed. There are moments like these where after you stand, you have to then move. Moving doesn’t mean forgetting but it does mean carrying yourself beyond the moment that was, to where you can breathe again because you must. Life is such that we are better off if we choose to keep living it. So, at times like those, after you’ve done all you can, sometimes the next thing to do is go forward with love for what was and sincere belief that all those we love would want us to be happy again.
In the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Beck has an article on trusting yourself, your inner truth. She even discusses where to go next when we get things wrong and calming ourselves. It’s a short read and worth the introspection and quick five points that she offers: http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/martha-beck-growing-up. Some advice from her column is captured below.
I can’t find the words to soothe the country with the floods going on in Houston or to make up for the lacks of words by the current occupant of the oval office. Many of us have outdone ourselves with postings and frustration about what is going in our country. My heart weeps for Houston, many impacted have this catastrophe only adding to the problems they already had. I will make donations to the American Red Cross and I hope you will too. I pray for those impacted and I hope you will too. I am honoring the life of a close friend this week whose loss is still felt one year later. None of these are times to give up. If you do give up, you lose out on what life can still offer.
Get every drop of life for as long as you can. Do more than just stand after you’ve done all you can. Take a step, then another. Respond to what life has given you. Soothe yourself as best you can. Always take full responsibility for your own actions and truly decide to do better where you didn’t do your best. Stop giving yourself excuses for not doing your best, far too often that does happen (and yes I do speak from my own experience). But where life did things beyond your control, accept that you can only change you and can’t control other circumstances. Be authentic about what’s realistic, decide a course of action and get going. After you’ve done all you can, often you can do more than stand. You can take action.