This week we were among the two million folks without power in the Mid Atlantic. We had no AC for 3 days in the midst of a heat wave, with record temperatures above 100 degrees.
It would be very easy to move into panic, anger, worry in the midst of such a heat wave. Yet, I knew that struggle and panic would only make the matters worse. I knew this was a calling to stay peaceful and present to whatever came next . The heat was a reminder for us to reach out to support one another. It was also a reminder to reach deeper for connection to our Source of comfort, peace, and strength.
On the morning of the second day, after two uncomfortable nights of little sleep, I stood on my porch and a peaceful thought emerged. It was the first line of the chorus in a Unity hymn, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”.
Though we had been hot and awake for much of the night, I felt a sense of calm and assurance. Friends had offered us space in their freezer and refrigerator for our food. We had offers to sleep over there or sit in their AC whenever we wanted. Abundance of love and support flowed in. We would be fine.
Pruning, Priorities, and Gratitude
I like the quote – ‘God prunes us so that we may be fruitful.’ No one likes being without power for several days, it’s not a pleasant pruning. Rarely is losing something precious or valuable a pleasant experience. Yet such a pruning helps us put our life in perspective. Nothing like being without something, especially basics like power, water, shelter, to put your daily problems into perspective.
All those nuggly distractions, the to-do list, the emails and calls to return, get put into a different priority as you focus on what’s in front of you in a crisis. It can be freeing after a crisis to re-evaluate what’s truly important to you. Are you putting your time and energy into the things that really matter? A crisis gives you the opportunity to live your life by design, not default.
Gratitude emerges in a crisis for even the little things. We had food, cool water, gas in our car, neighbors who checked on us. Once the power came back on we rejoiced in having our AC back. We slept so soundly the next few nights. What pleasure to sleep in a cool place. I can’t remember the last time I felt so grateful to sleep in clean cool sheets.
We can’t control when crisis hits. We can control how we respond to it. As the summer season broils on, with potential more heat waves, hurricanes or natural disasters, remember your priorities, your bounty, your friendships. End your day reflecting on 5 things that went well in your day, and 5 things that you are thankful for having or receiving.
Peace and comfort come in all sorts of packages. Stay open to receiving it.
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Linda J. Ferguson, Ph.D. is a Job/ Life Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Seminar Leader. Visit www.lindajferguson.com for more resources to live a life in balance, greater inner peace, passion, and purpose.