With the news of the Haitian disaster comes a profound sense of vulnerability. When faced with catastrophes of this scale, we are left feeling exposed, without answers. The explicit images shown in the media remind us how transitory everything is in life, and how the material security we strive so hard to achieve can disappear in an instant. These harsh shocks remind us that we cannot control even the most significant things in our lives, even that which appears to be the most secure can be gone in a flash. From our shared feeling of panic and concern, profound questions emerge in the desperate search for answers. Why do these things happen? Why did this happen to them? How can I be sure that nothing bad will happen to me? How can I confront each day when the fear of loss overshadows my capacity to enjoy? How can I face the responsibility of guiding myself and my loved ones safely through life when I am racked with apprehension? How can I live in a consumer world where consumption consumes us all, within an uncertainty whose only certainty is that it will become greater, looming around every corner?
The answers to these questions are hard to find, at least in the outside world. But they can certainly be found within; it's a question of remembering the way, the path to get there, the trail to this profound inner sense of fulfillment, of being one with life; the sensation we experienced so joyfully and freely as children.
Here are two facts of life that we often wish to ignore: life is not fair and everything changes, always. By fully accepting these realities, we can focus on what will bring us true stability -- something that cannot be found in material security -- and by doing so we can begin to let go of the expectations we put upon our external circumstances.
When we seek external security, we are seeking stability within that which always changes; this is why we need so many guarantees, but no guarantee is absolute in this world. Life is a succession of moments, during most of which we are absent, and when we reach the end of the road or are reminded in some way of our own mortality, we often have the feeling of dissatisfaction, of not having fully lived ... as if time has run like water through our fingers.
Most of us spend our time looking ahead of ourselves, measuring our results, looking back and remembering what came before, fearful of repeating the same in the future, to the point where this moment is lost to us. Yet the present, the only thing we really have and the only place where we can ever change, is also the only experience within which we can find true security.
Whether the outside is shaken by an earthquake or an economic crisis, through illness or some other stressful situation, we can confront it in one place only: the here and now. By being present -- present with ourselves, present with one-another, present in our feelings -- vulnerable, without denying the dimension of the impact, and flowing with life, without negating our emotions: those long ignored feelings, forgotten deep within, avoided and distorted into something corrupt, a suppressed resentment poisoning our relationships, damaging our health. Our emotions should flow like water, washing the banks of our human experience as they pass, flowing like life through time, dancing through this illusion that is calling to us, inviting us to become more human and more real in each moment.
Security can only be found if I focus inwards, in the eye of the storm, the core of the hurricane that takes me ever deeper within its quiet; if I go outwards into the chaos, I lose myself within it; if I go deep within, I find myself in the void.
If we learn to live from within this inner connection, this security fills us with trust and we know that nothing that is permanent and real can be lost, nothing based in love can be lost. Then these challenges and tragedies can serve us in our growth, guiding us towards more love, pushing us to give, which is the true nature of love.
We can see this in action through the responses to the crisis. Just when we believe that humanity has no hope, we see countries sending planes and ships, and presidents and representatives from all corners of the earth coming together as they offer their help. So shine the heroes, the silent hearts that give freely, so that the pain and suffering of those affected can be lessened, offering consolation and the tools to re-adapt and continue forward, thankful for what life has given, and lovingly letting go of that which life has taken away.
We cannot do anything to stop it, nor does it make sense to suffer now for what the future may bring, but we can move into action and give, we can focus on loving more in every moment those who surround us instead of criticizing, giving thanks for what we have received and letting go of that which does not serve us in cultivating our passion for life.
We can strengthen the ties of love that embrace all, putting a "yes" wherever we have a "no", lending new color to our lives, using as a profound gift this opportunity to look at ourselves and feel, to change and flow, embracing ourselves in this moment.
In this moment, find yourself in the center of the cyclone. Welcome in this new way of living, completely connected with your heart: there where the essence of life itself pulsates, there where your true voice speaks and resounds within you and in everything, becoming one in the union of love.
Isha's latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explains her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Her website is www.whywalkwhenyoucanfly.com.
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste. Learn more