Sometimes the lesson within the storm isn’t obvious. Sometimes entrenched fears woven into the fabric of our being go unnoticed, accepted as normal, yet driving our thoughts and actions. We all fear something whether it is illness, poverty, discrimination, criticism, the list is endless. When the thoughts turn into a driving force behind our actions, the result may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because we aren’t consciously aware of the entrenched fear lurking in the shadows, we blame others, or God, or both, or believe we are being punished.
Crises in life are sometimes a result of our fears. Choosing not to face any given crisis or situation, instead wallowing in the negative energy within the situation, or burying our heads in the sand to avoid dealing with a situation only prolongs it. Acknowledge what we fear, what feels out of control, and then take a moment to sort through what is known, not supposed. There is nothing wrong with admitting we are afraid of possible outcomes, what the future may hold, the crisis itself. What is detrimental is letting the fears paralyze us. What is the worst-case scenario? Is worst-case truly a possibility? Often, it is not, yet our fear drives the thought. Fear causes us to feel insecure, we no longer feel safe. Projecting into the future only serves to increase our fears. It is important to remind ourselves all we truly have is the moment we are currently living.
Long held fears may contribute to the development of a crisis, however, that is not the same as being punished for the fear. I occasionally listen to a speaker who had cancer and subsequently had a near death/death experience. She believes and teaches her fear of cancer eventually led to the diagnosis of cancer. At first blush, I rejected her reasoning, but after listening to her teachings, I believe she is on to something. She says everything in her life was focused on avoiding cancer from what she ate, to exercise, to stress reduction, etc. In other words, her focus was skewed allowing the fear to grow and manifest the very thing she spent her life avoiding. The same principle can be applied to a poverty mindset. My Reiki teacher shared with me her fear of poverty led to a financial crisis resulting in losing everything and having to move back in with her elderly parent. These revelations are extreme and the result of much meditation and time spent seeking higher understanding; they are not an explanation for everyone facing a health or financial crisis. The takeaway lesson is examining our hearts and thought lives, allowing God to reveal long held fears to acknowledge and release for healing.
Sometimes we make the leap to punishment for a perceived sin. God doesn’t punish. Punishment was devised by man to control others. Do I believe some people need to be punished? Absolutely. A society cannot remain civilized without boundaries, that when crossed, require discipline, and punishment, at times. Within the church mindset, often people believe a crisis or negative situation is a result of God’s punishment. I believed that for quite some time, fueled in part, by an abusive husband who wielded the Bible like a machete, and in part because of a religious system that taught sin must be punished. Of course, anything negative in our lives is a result of sin, right? Wrong. Organized religion leaves no room for the fallability of humanity. People make mistakes, plain and simple. Mistakes are not willful intent, however. There is definitely a major distinction between the two, but organized religion often blurs the lines. Early in my “Christian walk” I actually had church mentors tell me sin caused negative events in our lives! The bigger problem was I chose to believe that nonsense and attributed any negative crisis directly to sin in my life. In its own way, that is almost narcissitic thinking!
Corporately, how we react to a crisis situation, is important, as well. Since we are all part of the universal Divine, in other words, God, what I do eventually ripples and will affect others. Dr. Chopra said it this way, “We are ripples of consciousness of the vast ocean of consciousness. If we get agitated and become part of the reactionary and vitriolic behavior sometimes around us, we will only add to the disturbance.” We can apply his words to family situations, work situations, or large scale crises like 9/11, or any myriad crises situations involving a large group of people. When people jump on the bandwagon of negative behavior, their behavior only adds to the overall problem. Attitudes spread, good or bad, positive or negative, an attitude permeates any situation.
Recently, we have had a series of negative events, some devastating, seemingly snowball in our family. Perception is everything, but I wager most would say there appeared to be a snowball effect, or in the words of my mother, a dark cloud hanging over us. I can say I have progressed spiritually in terms of resilience in the face of adversity, but I have not arrived by any means. In the past, one or two negative events may have rattled my resolve, now it takes more than two. That’s progress, right? On a side note, I also noted emotion has returned, although I cannot say I have appreciated the intensity of it. The deadening of emotion is a side effect of long-term abuse; those who have been there, done that, will understand. So, how do we handle the snowball effect? We deal with what we can, and leave the rest to God. Dwelling on what is outside of our control only adds to the negative energy of an already negative situation.
We are not helpless when the sky is falling. Helplessness leads to paralysis. As long as we draw breath, we have choices, there will be options. Learning the lessons within the crisis will benefit us, too. Nothing in life is without purpose, without an opportunity for growth, without the ability to expand our understanding and lead us to a higher truth…..