In the midst of a storm

Life has no intention to be fair.

Neither to be easy or chronologically fitting.

How often do we wish there was a stop button – just in order to get some much needed clarity, or a break from the changes, processes and challenges we face?

Life can be a rollercoaster ride. Pillars that give us a felt sense of security can break and grumble from one day to the next. In the face of hardship we understand that was is supposed to be stable and nourishing – relationships, jobs, living situations or health – is but another shifting and changing component of life.

Having to face major change is challenging. Even more so, when the change was not wished for and we feel helplessly determined from the outside.

What can we do in midst of such a process? Is there anything we can rely on after all?

A first foothold we find paradoxically in change itself. Part of the ability to be with the storms of life, is to see them for what they are: currently passing phenomenon of weather. This is the capability to keep in mind that even the difficult current situation is not carved in stone, as hopless and unpleasant as it might be. If we project the present unhappiness into the future, we give it an authority it does not have. The outcome would be despair. Like everything else, the difficulties will change, as impossible as it might seem at the given moment.

Here the practice of 24 hours can be helpful:
Can I have enough equanimity and endurance to be with the current situation, the commotion, the trouble, the not-knowing just for the next 24 hours? To be with the unpleasant rather than to act upon it reactively to make it pass, will allow us enough space and time to regain some clarity on what needs to be done.

Clarity is the second foothold we want to be on the look-out for. Not every problematic situation should be met with equanimity and a sense of acceptance. Sometimes we will have to make a decision, respond to a situation with inner authority to make way for our own well-being or that of others. What differentiates clarity from reactiveness is that we are not driven by impulses of fear, anger, greed, avoidance, etc. There is a certain amount of calm in the being, a stillness that has observed the situation not from a story-telling point of view but with a heart of compassion and wisdom.

We must train ourselves in daily life situations to differentiate clearly between the pushing and pulling of reactivity and the stillness and lightness that comes from an intention of compassion. This will be an immense support for the crisis and dilemma in our lives, when we have to make far-reaching decisions. To know our intentions at work thoroughly and to address our fears and doubts is necessary in order to tap into the inner authority that will guide us through life as a pillar stone to rely on.

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