Before Hurricane Matthew hit Florida, I took the time to focus inward to help calm my nerves. As I looked around at everyone frantically preparing for what was to come, I decided I needed to check in and see how I was doing. Instead of hoping that my house was safe, I was immediately filled with gratitude for having the fear of losing something, losing anything. I was completely humbled by the thought “how lucky am I to have the fear of losing a home, loved one, a job, and other cherished and loved items”. I felt more calm with the approaching storm. My only close experience to a hurricane previous to that was Bertha in 1996,and I was on a ship outside of Puerto Rico and lucky that I was young enough not to know how dangerous of a situation I was in at the time. So Hurricane Matthew came, as Mother Nature does, with a very interesting way of cleansing. Our neighbor’s huge tree fell on our home causing us an expensive and inconvenient situation of needed home repairs or home loss through insurance. The storm flooded the homes in communities across many states and took the lives of loved ones. I wrote a post about how it can sometimes feel like a hurricane, this act of God and Mother Nature, can defy the laws of Karma. I watched many people filled with joy to come home and see nothing had changed while just a few others lost completely everything. No one deserves a hardship. I certainly didn’t think I did. I knew that I was choosing this experience to be another hardship in 2016 for my family. I began to realize that I was going through the stages of grief. I had just done this 6 months ago when I lost my brother in law. I was in denial, angry at my neighbor for not removing a tree he knew was sick, sad for my friends who lost their homes, and am finally reaching acceptance that my life is on hold for the next few months. The more I resisted that I would have to put everything on hold, the worse the situation or my feeling about the situation became. I almost started to feel cursed.
2016 has been a challenging year for myself and my family in ways I never imagined. Many of my loved ones and friends have also experienced unimaginable loss in their life that as my friend described “we cannot understand the will of God in our limited human experience.” and she is right. We exist as spiritual and human beings and events like this can allow us to connect or resist that we are both. I realized that it was never about the house, the inconvenience, the exhausted resources, or the hardship, but that it was about the loss and the grieving process we go through when we lose the quality of our life. Then I realized that maybe we should not become to attached to the idea that our life always has to be awesome, although it is a very nice thought. It is so easy when everything is in flow and life is abundant, but without the challenges how can we appreciate the abundance? I believe that with every loss, there is a new beginning. Look around outside in nature. Everything that dies becomes something new. When Michael, my brother in law, passed away unexpectedly in March, he gave me so many gifts. My awareness and connection to nature has literally had me speechless countless times. I know he is there, and it is my healing belief that no one can take from me. The many connections and friends I made through the celebration of his life are ones that I will always cherish. The stories and experiences that I got to live vicariously through the relationships of his friends (my new friends) created new experiences in my life and became a part of my existence. So I know in my heart that this too shall pass and create a new beginning. How lucky are we to have the fear of losing something and realizing the the true value of experiencing a loss is through what we actually gain in our experience. I know that we do have a choice in how we choose to remember our experiences. I do believe that there is a gift from every challenging experience and that the timing in receiving that gift is different for everyone. It happens when you are ready to receive, and when you are you and fully present. My wish is for everyone to experience this. Especially those experiencing loss or grief. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a job, a home, a pet, a relationship, marriage or quality of life. To realize that our emotions do not have to define us, that life is good, abundant, and full of love. Trust in the process, trust yourself to know when the time is right to receive all that you are divinely connected to and all that you are!