This past month has shown us the power of the elements and our relative smallness in their wake. With all the hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires in our country and around the world, many have experienced a tremendous loss of life and home. In these past few months, we have all had the opportunity to gain perspective through these natural disasters. Anyone who has suffered a grave loss through a crisis or a life-threatening illness will tell you that the hidden ‘gift’ offered by their experience was a shift in perspective and a deepened sense of meaning. Meaning is intrinsic to all of us and shears away the extrinsic value of materialism. Moving through a crisis requires us to align with our courage, bravery, strength, resilience, integrity, and community.
For me, midlife heralded enormous loss. I remember praying hard and deep for months and years after my husband left me 12 years ago for another. My life had been decimated by a ‘hurricane’ that ravaged everything I was identified with as ‘me’. I lost my family, my savings, and nearly The Ommani Center and my home. I was left with massive acquired debt and a broken spirit, massive trauma, an inner and outer life in shambles.
I was on my knees, crying, wailing, non-stop for weeks and months, not knowing how I would make it, what I could do, ‘what I did to deserve this.’ A deep voice from within said, “Stop. These are not the right questions”. There are NO questions right now. Right now is a time of trusting in your resilience, your true nature, your essence, your deepest Soul-self that needs nothing more than tending. THIS IS TIME OF COMPLETE SURRENDER”.
This is what I feel we need to do in response to the ravage that Mother Nature has left in her wake. Her power is much greater than ours, by infinite proportions. We must gain perspective through this time and regain our reverence for the elements, the power, wisdom, and strength of the Natural Order of life. Often, life offers us its ‘awful grace’ as a call to transformation and reevaluation; to assess what is important and what holds truth and meaning.
Maybe the ‘lesson’ and the meaning in all of what is happening is to help us reconnect to our true nature, to our hearts, to compassion, and to awaken to the strength of community. We must surrender our values that have been extrinsically identified with materialism, isolation, and disconnection. There is no greater teacher than the loss to show us that the manner in which we have been living is unsustainable.
We will rebuild, re-connect, re-awaken, re-new, and re-birth what the life/death/life cycle has brought to us time and again and especially in the days, weeks, months, and years that follow. We must collaborate through this. Maybe this is the course correction we must undertake. We as a country and as a world are connected deeply with one another, regardless of a political party, race, color, gender, or religion. We must awaken to this reality.
Let us seize this opportunity to achieve meaning and transformation.
We must rise like the phoenix from the ashes.
©Oct 2017 Kalpana (Rose) M. Kumar M.D., CEO and Medical Director, The Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine,
Pewaukee, WI. Website: www.ommanicenter.com Author of Becoming Real: Reclaiming Your Health in Midlife.