Weathering the Storm

>    It’s the 2007 Hurricane Season and the first official hurricane is wreaking havoc on the Caribbean islands in it’s path and is, as yet, headed for the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 155 miles per hour.  Inhabitants of those countries are being warned to find shelter in special centers set up to withstand the onslaught of extreme weather conditions.
    Once again, there is much to learn from Nature.
    While we are routinely challenged by the mundane stressors of daily life, occasionally we find ourselves challenged by extraordinarily difficult circumstances. It may be illness, death of a friend or loved one, financial reversals, separation, divorce, an accident, or a myriad of other possibilities. Such experiences impact our emotional and mental worlds as surely as these hurricanes impact our physical world.
    Which is why it’s so important to have located, in advance, your “inner center.”
    An inner center is that place within you where you have defined and hold your core values and beliefs. Then, when external events become a drain or deplete your energies, you can gain nourishment and sustenance from within.
    In our society, we are encouraged to find a career, a religion, a mate and financial security.  And while each of these can provide a certain amount of comfort and value during difficult times, none of them can provide the necessary direction in your life to help you become who you really are or can be. That direction is internally generated.
    Back to Nature… where I always go for the big answers.    
    An orchid doesn’t turn to a daisy or a nearby oak tree and ask,”What should I look like? How should I grow?”  To the contrary, it has an internal “wisdom” that guides it from seed to bud to bloom.
    We humans are no different. Each of us has the capability, the inherent wisdom, to grow to become fully who we are as unique creations. However, when we turn to others and take on their values and beliefs instead of cultivating our own, we not only deny our individuality, we set up false hope that somehow others know better than we do what is right for us…what will “save” us.
    Certainty about what you believe and value based upon your own experience, not the experience of others, is how you cultivate and maintain an internal center. Then, when the winds of life come blowing at gale force, it’s easy to go within and deeply anchor yourself to your own foundation.
    It’s the only real shelter from the storm.

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