When Catastrophe Strikes!
Our word today, fittingly so I think, is catastrophe. That certainly would be a good description for a number of events that have happened recently. In fact, it seems as if there is a catastrophe occurring somewhere in the world regularly.
The word comes originally from the Greek and it means to turn, or overturn. So, typically when we think of catastrophe, it’s a very sad, traumatic, negative experience. Your life is turned upside down. You lose your job and your spouse at the same time. Your neighborhood is destroyed by a natural disaster. Your country goes to war.
And people are suffering, as we’ve been hearing about. Unless you are hiding under a rock, you are very much aware of the suffering and the pain that many, many thousands of people are experiencing. When catastrophe hits, the period of suffering is prolonged for weeks, months or years.
Often in our lives, think back on this for yourself, we have had experiences where it seemed like we are going through hell at the time. Horrible things are happening, and you feel utterly destroyed. And yet somehow, you’ve come out of that situation and are standing here right now. You can, when you yourself are going through it, know that you will come out on the other side, a wiser, more cautious person. You’ve been through it, you overcame it, you overturned your experience of the ‘overturning’.
That’s really the opportunity that’s involved in a catastrophic experience. That you can be there for other people perhaps who are going through a situation. You can be helpful in some way. One of the reasons Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful is because people in the midst of their own personal disaster come to the group and are nurtured back to life by those who have gone before them and can relate to their suffering.
I believe the key to moving though a calamity in your life is based on two criteria:
- Knowing that there are open hearts to help all around you. There are always people who are willing to give a hand, make a meal, offer encouragement, point you in the right direction. They, like you, have suffered and survived and now want to ease your pain. Yet, this is crucial—You must want to be helped and you must ask for the help! Most people are not mind readers or don’t want to interfere.
- If you know me, you know this is coming—Knowing that you have within your own mind, the greatest Resource imaginable—Your own internal Guide, connected to the Source of all wisdom, who will direct you in whatever form you can accept. But, again, you need to give yourself the opportunity to hear that guidance, which comes most easily when you set aside the time to actively listen.
So, when catastrophe strikes, you will look at the sky and see the silver lining shining down upon you, and know that you will have the help you need!
Peace and Love Always