Events over this last week (personal and global) moved so fast and have invited so much reorienting (internally and externally) that I don’t quite feel like I have caught up yet.
I am still recalibrating.
As someone who loves stillness and quiet time, I admit that the idea of the world slowing down and staying home appeals to me greatly.
On the other hand, my fear that life might screech to a halt, leaving me with no ability to pay my bills or keep up with my responsibilities is almost paralyzing.
As a self-employed, single mother with hefty student loan debt and a mortgage, I feel tremendously vulnerable.
That said, I know my feelings are deeply affected by what I focus upon: my fears and worst case scenarios, or my hopes and longings for the good that could emerge out the chaos.
I am reminded of the Native American story of the two wolves – especially the one with the lesser known ending.
Who will we become in uncertain times?
My daughter came home a few days ago with a story about how her friend’s mom was in Target to buy a thermometer.
The shelf was empty – completely sold out.
As she was leaving the store, she noticed someone pushing a cart filled with a large pile of thermometers. She asked the person what they needed them for, to which they replied that they were stockpiling so that they could sell them for a substantial a profit later. (Much like this man in Hixson).
She asked if she could please take one of the thermometers now as she had a sick child at home and needed to buy one.
The person refused to give her one.
The degree of unbridled self-interest demonstrated in this story horrifies me.
The challenges of these times often reveal what kind of people we are at our core: fearful, exploitative and self-interested, or courageous, generous and service minded.
The golden rule reminds us to treat others as we’d like to be treated and I once heard that one of Mother Teresa’s favorite quotes was, “Truly I tell you, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Universal spiritual laws have pointed to the spiritual truth that we are all one; what happens to one of us, is felt by all of us.
How we treat one another matters.
Who we become in unpredictable times, depends on at least 2 things:
Our ability to commit to living into our deep, collective values
Our ability to not be slaves to our emotional states.
Here’s my Alternative Story ~ Let’s re-write these stories in our own lives:
A woman goes into the store to buy a thermometer.
The shelves are empty. She passes another person with a large amount of thermometers in their cart.
When she asks why this person needs so many of them, the person replies …
I’m buying them for people who can’t afford them and distributing them to those who don’t have money to buy their own, or
I’m buying them so that when people need them down the road, that I have them to hand out for free to those in need, or
I have so much abundance in my own life, I want to make sure that I can give these away to people who have fewer resources than I do.
When she asks for one for her sick child, the person replies …
Of course, why don’t you take a few and pay it forward?
Please help yourself, they are made just for situations like this!
Let me buy one for you, it’s a joy to contribute and share.
Even the man from Hixson had a change in mindset and attitude, and ended up donating all his supplies, (albeit under duress).
Let’s focus on helping each other, not turning on each other.
On supporting each other, not exploiting each other.
Take some time to reflect…
Who are you becoming in these unpredictable times?
What are you respecting about yourself?
What are you regretting?
What intentions would you like to live into from here?