When I was in Peru, Willaru, the Inca priest I was learning from spoke of ‘shock’. We were walking the Inca trail that was very difficult, and designed to be difficult. You had no choice but to be absolutely present in the physical moment, or you’d drop off into the abyss of the Rainforest to be eaten by wild beasties.
But something quite extraordinary happened in that time. By the time we reached the summit, all seemed clear, all the worries I had put credence in, inconsequential. Willaru said this was like a personal MOT/Tune up, getting us back in alignment with our true nature. The same often happens with people who experience extreme trauma. You frequently hear of individuals who after a car accident or heart attack ‘turn their lives around’. They make a decision to live life with meaning, cut back- get down to basics.
In the past two weeks or so my kitchen ceiling has fallen down, the washing machine has broken, the gutters in the back have flooded, and the hot-water heater has broken. Add this to the woes of my mortgage and it would be easy to bemoan ‘life is shit’. But quite conversely as I have ‘fallen’ countless ‘hands’ have reached out to save me.
My amazing neighbours, reminding me what community is all about; Mihai for fixing my washing machine; Mircai for putting up my ceiling; Loredana for feeding me and general care; Lexi & Moira for helping with clean up; Rachel & Jane for providing ‘homes away from home’; Misters Saeed, Javaid & Qayuum for unclogging the drains; Donald for the loan of an extension cable; Tim for the loan of a power drill; Mister Ebrahim for the loan of a ladder; and Shaka for extra plaster-board. Not to mention the 99 people who have donated to ‘Hope Dances’ validating the importance of what I am doing and saving my home. And of course the countless calls, emails and general messages for my well-being. These are priceless.
It is true, had things been different and I had gotten those grants, or I had gotten those jobs I applied for (and as expected) I would not be in this position, the path would have been different. But then as a result of this I am held by the hearts of others and that is a wonderful, a beautiful thing, a reminder of life’s shared experiences. And I am happy for it. And these reminders come with stories and connections. So the lives of others also resonates in me.
I think that’s the important thing to remember in life… ‘good times’ happen AND ‘bad times’ happen.
It’s not a question of whether you will face them on an individual or a global level, but what you choose to do with them. How do we move forward in the face of it ALL?