Many people come to me because they want to change something big – about themselves or something in their life, or something in the people around them.
I have had people that wanted to figure out how to guarantee that their mate would never leave them, or that their children would always be happy and healthy, or that they would most assuredly get the promotion they want, or that they would suddenly get wealthy.
While we all have a certain amount of control of our destiny, the truth is that it is somewhat of an illusion and somewhat temporary.
The experience of devastation by tornados in Joplin, Missouri recently is a reminder to all of us of that fact. We cannot control the weather, freak accidents, or time. We cannot control another person’s desires or destiny. And, we cannot physically live forever.
There was a very brave and courageous man that talked on national TV about losing both of his sons in the Joplin tornado. Most of us could imagine the pure and unadulterated pain and devastation this man must be going through. But, despite this pain, he was driven to share his experience, he was willing to cry on camera, he was willing to connect deeply with all of us in his time of need. I was amazed at his strength and touched by his candor.
It is a very intense and sensitive discussion. How can one build an inner fortitude without it looking like suppression and denial? How can one face pain in a powerful way, without belittling it? How can we let go of believing that we can control our lives without letting go of our responsibility to do the best we can at creating a fulfilled life? How can we fully understand the tragedies that can occur without succumbing to any feelings of hopelessness?
It is getting the answers to these questions that give us the power to flourish in uncertainty and build a foundation that can support of through life’s curveballs.
I once had a student that believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was angry at him if it was raining on his day off work. While a part of him understood that was irrational, a part of him still believed it. I could not teach him how to control the rain. But, I could help teach him acceptance, surrender, and compassion for himself when he couldn’t seem to accept circumstances. I could even share with him different perspectives of how to look at his circumstances. I could also show him how to heal the parts of him that felt so betrayed.
Everyone has places they feel pain. Past experiences they flinch at. Pieces of the future they fear. And, everyone can heal. Everyone can love. Everyone can shine!
My heart and love and prayers go out to everyone in Joplin, Mo.
My heart and love and prayers go out to you!