I have lately been in despair over the seeming disappearance of several acquaintances of mine. Neighbors move away suddenly, leaving behind an empty home, classmates from my daughter's class are withdrawn from school without good-byes, shops we used to frequent are empty and closed one morning.
It seems so sudden, and so quiet, as though sadness or shame has sucked the air out of their voices. What's odd to me is that while the French are protesting loudly, proudly, that they ought not need suffer due to world-wide financial foibles, the Americans that I have known are quietly slinking away without so much of a murmuring "ouch."
I took my daughter to her ballet class, located in a mini-mall, and 6 of the 10 shops had closed their doors and emptied their stores. The recession is apparent, but what is not apparent is how to deal with it.
I feel especially concerned by the quiet disappearance of those I have known. How chaotic are they inside? Have they disappeared into sadness, shame, anxiety? I can only imagine what might be happening within them, if my feelings as their witness might be a sliver of theirs as they go through this.
I went to visit an old friend and long time teacher of mine, Eckhart Tolle, in Vancouver recently, where his talks are being recorded for webcasts called "Eckhart TV." As I listened to him speak, more than a thousand pounds of worry, anxiety, doubt, and fear, lifted off of me, allowing me to see my personal situation and the world situation from a broader, truer view -- as Eckhart Tolle's words are known to do. I realized that should I (or anyone) be required to leave my home with my family, as sad as that day might be, and as much as I love my home, we would be okay.
Something that doesn't require a location or a bank account is a deep breath. Another something that doesn't require any particular location or account balance is love for your family and partner. The same is true for creativity, for feeling connected to yourself and the world, and for feeling peace, hope, or inspiration. Change is not the end. Not to say that we should not each do everything in our power to create or preserve the best possible life situation for ourselves. Of course this is true, however, sometimes preservation is not possible.
The only differences between that moment of leaving and going...who knows where?...and this moment now, in which I am comfortable in my chair, quietly typing these words, are external. My internal condition and awareness need not change. Furniture may be being moved -- it's okay, I don't need to resist it, if resistance is futile.
Anxiety only begets more anxiety. I could let it go and remain in peace. Perhaps I would find myself walking away from my home for the last time. Could I walk away without resisting the form that moment takes? Could I let it go and remain in peace? That future moment of change doesn't have to be any different from this moment of sameness.
The important questions are: what is happening in my awareness? Am I okay in this moment? Yes. Always yes. It is my hope that my friends who have faded into our economic recession may also realize this eternal truth. It is my hope that we can all hold onto our peace in the midst of these profound changes, because it's from peace that creativity and inspiration arise. And from creativity and inspiration, newness blossoms. And after all, sometimes peace is all you can keep. So why not keep it?