I was in the first Christchurch earthquake. The strength of it shook the building so much you couldn’t walk across the room without tumbling. Buildings were damaged, people were hurt and it was a time of not knowing, confusion and fear. So when we experienced a reminder last night with our 6.5 magnitude earth quake I was reminded of what is important as we tred this earth with an ‘act of god’ at our heels.
Connection: It’s why we are all here but the thing we usually forget. During the big earthquake I got separated from my family. They had left town and I was cordoned off inside the town. From experience I can tell you that it doesn’t matter what you have in your earthquake kit, but what you have in your heart kit. This was a humbling reminder of what was most precious to me, family, and we vowed to always stay together for the remainder of the trip. The act of remembering our connection to others helps us to remember that we are not alone.
Kindness and compassion. During disasters people show acts of selflessness and compassion. Communities knit together and clear roads, government workers stay up all hours to assess damage and clean up, people set up food and water stations. Doors are flung open to those who are lost or disbanded. Other people become more important than them, and they work tirelessly to help where they can. A compassionate heart recognises all suffering as deserving love. Love and compassion are like the ocean, when the tide takes it out to those around us it flows right back to us on the next wave.
Strength: If tragedy strikes we may connect with our inner strength. We may have thought we would be a certain way in tragedy but we somehow reach down and pull out something that has been hidden for a long time. We get through it all as we guide, comfort and serve and love others unconditionally. The practice of serving is also a good antidote for fear.
Life can change on a button, with a phone call of bad news, a natural disaster, a sudden health scare, but why wait for any of these to come back home to your true nature? Our true nature is to remember our love, to be led by kindness not meanness and to connect to our inner guiding light of strength.
Practice for today: Don’t wait until the wake up call to remember who you really are. Today make a list of the things that are not important ( towels left on floors, mess in the kitchen, cost of food) that have been occupying your head space. The small niggles and complaints are just a way of covering up our greatness.