This past weekend my town and state, Boulder, CO, was flooded severely. Lives were lost. Property was damaged. Houses were destroyed. It was devastating, as any natural disaster is, and it’s an act of God. An act of God. Think about that for a minute.
What is an act of God? No matter what your image is of God, think of God as life, creator. An act of life. In these times we feel both devastation and gratitude. We feel devastation and horror at the tragedy of it, and we feel gratitude that we are still alive. We feel gratitude, in my case, that I wasn’t in the office suite that I occupied just one month ago that was destroyed in a mudslide, cut in half by mud and rain. We feel gratitude because President Obama is giving us aide and we have people coming in from all over to help us. We feel gratitude that the communities come together during these times. That is an act of God.
So often, we try to get on one side of the fence or the other. “I have to be positive all the time,’ or ‘this is such a tragedy.” What happens if you hold both? This is a tragedy. There were lives lost. People died. Animals died. And, this woke people up. This brought people together. Both of those things are true at the same time. There’s not a need to go one way or the other. You don’t have to decide which camp you want to be in. You can hold both of them. That’s the yin and yang of life. The darkness and the light, and we don’t know light without darkness.
When I was leaving my office building a month ago I noticed that there was something stale there. Something felt stale in the air, and I had a thought that something needs changing around here. It’s a beautiful place, in a beautiful location with wildlife all around by a creek, and yet there was something that needed a change, a shift, an update, and that happened in a big way. Devastating for people who lost all of their property and offices. Fortunately no one was hurt. But what an act of God that is! To wake up to life. Wake you up! Shake you up!
What’s important in your life? What’s important in this life, in this existence? That is what the act of life is all about. It’s an act of love in that way, and you can hold that and you can also hold in our heart the mourning for those people who have suffered and who have died. They are also here to serve you, and to help wake you up. Can you hold both of those in your life? Can we use every day experiences to wake ourselves up and not just use natural disasters?
Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence. It is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life.