Today Part Two of a two-part series on the many spiritual lessons I learned while preparing and enduring Hurricane Irene. Check out the beginning of the story in the featured items.
4. It's never as bad as the illusion we create - Byron Katie states that "Reality is always kinder than the story we tell about it." which is true. Think about all the awful things that you have worried about in the past. Usually they are not as bad as you imagined them when they happen. While we all worriedly turned our homes into hurricane fallout shelters, in the end, most of us remained unscathed. However, we lost three days of our Lives worrying about the possible near future. These are days we can't get back. Sure some things ARE as bad as we imagine. Now to beat a point to death, but the recent passing of my Mother has me still in a state. And I'm sure the folks that lost children in the storm it IS worst than they could've expected. But for most people, for every really awful thing that occurs in Life, there are a zillion things we worry about on a day-to-day basis, that we are wasting the worry on.
5. Everything is Now - the Past, the Present, and the Future. - Eckhart Tolle in his monumental work, "The New Earth" discusses how tragedies and obstacles force us into the Now as our entire focus is on surviving them. This is very true. The death of my Mother was so painful that it has forced me to just allow myself to exist moment to moment. And planning for the hurricane was a similar, abet less intense, living in the Now experience. My worries about the lost Fashion Week projects, being diagnosed pre-diabetic, and having a crazy landlord, paled in comparison to the spectre of losing everything I own and, possibly even my Life, to a natural disaster! I was forced to face the daily head chatter that creates unfounded fear in my Life and realize how insignificant it all is. And as Tolle states, "you are only ever in the present moment". When you are remembering the past, you are remembering it in the current moment. When you are worrying about the future you are doing so in the current moment. The past and present are not real, it is only ever the Now, the current moment. Thus, it is not worth worrying about the future or reliving the past while in the Now because you are not there. And thus, you can do nothing about what came before or what will follow.
6. What You Think About You Bring About - When news first came of Irene, I panicked. Two years ago, my upstairs neighbors had leaking from their ceiling that led to it raining into apartment. The damage was extensive and thus I was very concerned about a similar and even more damaging occurrence with the arrival of Irene. I was so worried that I could barely breathe for days. I rushed around like a dervish trying to figure out exactly where the ceiling could leak. By Saturday night, I had moved things all around to presumably safe spots. I was finally feeling pretty secure when my friend Claudia reminded me to fill the tub with water, in the event we didn't have any for awhile. So I ran the bath and forgot about it! So the bath ran and ran and ran and ran and flooded my entire apartment! In the great quest to fight against water damage, I created water damage! This is a perfect example of the tenet that "you have nothing to fear but FEAR itself!" In most cases, it is YOU that create the manifestation of your worst fears. What you THINK about YOU BRING about. Always remember, in the words of Lao-Tzu, "Watch you thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
Thus, I want to say thank you, Irene. Thanks for not hitting my beloved City too hard and thanks for the many opportunities for growth in so many areas of my Life.
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