Like most of you, I have been spending the last few days hearing and seeing the heartbreaking details of the tsunami in Japan and it’s spiraling disastrous effects. I live here in sunny Los Angeles and woke up last Friday not only to news about Japan but also to the news that possible destruction could hit our coast as a side effect. When tragedies of this nature happen, I feel worry, sadness, despair, and most of all helplessness. Not only that, but I can feel guilt to go on with my life as usual when somewhere else there is so much pain.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. I was lucky enough to find an amazing post by Tamara Kerner over at Elephant Journal who reminded me that our best defense in times like these is to do our part to help and then live our best lives. Tamara tells us “We can send the help that we are able to send and then we can turn off our televisions.” This does not mean that we shouldn’t care or want to help. By all means, we should and naturally want to take actionable steps to help our fellow man. It just reminds us that worry and fear will never alleviate a situation; it often only magnifies it.
Self-help speaker and author Byron Katie reminds us in “The Work” that there are 3 kinds of business: Your business, Their business, and God’s (or Higher Power, Universe, fill in the blank) business. And your job is to stay in your business and in that, you have power. When I first read this, it took me awhile to digest it. It seemed so cold and removed. After all, I am a teacher and a Holistic Health Counselor. I love people and I want to help them. But then I saw the benefits of this philosophy. It allows others to take ownership of their lives and relieves our worry of what will happen next in the world. The truth is, we cannot control Mother Nature and we cannot predict these types of tragedies. What we can control is the integrity by which we live our lives and how well we honor this life we are given. We can honor this one precious life we have by treating our bodies well, enjoying our bodies by moving them, by loving those around us fully and being fully present. We can care for our Mother Earth through our daily choices and how we spend our dollar. We can laugh more fully, have more authentic connections, and do the work we were put here to do. In this way, we honor life. When we are caught in patterns of worry, doubt, and anger, we lose our ability to honor life and we lose our power to create real change that will help mankind.
The tsunami in Japan reminds us of the fragility of life, as well as its uncertainty. These tragic events not only bring to the surface our deepest fears, but can also call upon us to better human beings, for those affected and for ourselves. Because nothing is guaranteed and the only constant is change, we must take time to look at our lives and give thanks for all that we have now. We must also have the courage to look at our lives and see if we are living the ones we want and truly enjoying the sweetness that comes from living an authentic life. For me, I feel less helpless knowing that I can, as Tamara stated, do what I can to help out in the crisis, be it donating money or goods, but I can also help out by sending love, my prayers, AND living my life authentically. I can see that by only concentrating on the sadness of the situation and living in a state of constant fear of what might happen next, I am then paralyzed to create any sort of positive impact.
There is only one life to live and it is happening for each of us right now. Be fully present, love what you have, and be willing to make changes in your daily life if it is not what you fully desire it to be. The changes you create, the thoughts you think, and the daily choices you make will and can make the world better.
Today, I have a personal wish for you. This is my drop in the bucket today to, hopefully, create more love and harmony in the world. I give this wish to you because I cannot control everything else out there, but I can send you my love. Here’s my wish: Live in the unique beauty that is you. Honor your gifts and share them with the world. And love fully…it is far scarier to live a life without love than to live one with heartbreak.
What negative thoughts can/will you let go of? What positive choices do you make to impact the world around you? How can you help when mankind is need and then continue to make your personal life more positive?
(And thank you, Tamara, for sharing your gifts with me and all who are lucky enough to read your beautiful words.)
*Photo by Maria Gonzalez Felton