It may seem like a strange topic to blog about but I have been bombarded lately with the power of water - and of course it’s symbolic images.
Last week the area of Texas where we live saw the second major flooding incident this year. Here is a clip from a USA Today article:
“Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke a rainfall record Friday with 14.99 inches recorded. The previous record, set in 1992, had been 0.92 inches.”
15” in one day, that’s unbelievable.
The death toll from these recent rains and tornadoes is now officially 6 in Texas.
These rains are in contrast to the drought that has been prevalent here for most of the last 5 years.
Doesn’t that just sound like life sometimes? Times when it is just one storm after another - when you don’t have a chance to soak up the effects of one before the next one hits. (Many dear friends and clients are coming to mind as I write this.)
How can we get through those seasons?
When life throughs us one thing after another our bodies can’t actually handle doing the processing or grief work that really needs to happen for us to have great closure. We can’t bear feeling all of what we need to feel, we need that energy to cope, to survive.
We ended up storing some of the emotions (technically called repression). And for good reason.
However, the long-term impact is significant. If we don’t subsequently intentionally grieve those losses (changes, etc.) we limit our capacity to handle more. We also create self-protection strategies to try and seal off the pain (anger, sadness, resentment).
It’s like putting rocks or sand in a jar and stuffing them on a shelf. Eventually the shelf gets full, the jars get heavy and the shelf threatens to come down.
The symptoms are and inability to cope with new stresses, emotions close to the surface frequently, and a host of physical stress related symptoms.
If you have had seasons when it was storm after storm I recommend some intentional effort focused on taking down one jar at a time and emptying the contents. Reach out if you want specific ideas for you on how to do that, I’d be happy to help.
Journalling, talking it out, sometimes with a professional, making lists of what you lost, what you wish life would have been like and writing a letter (that you don’t send) to someone you have lost are just a few ideas.
The other side of those storms can look quite different. Most of the safest people I know are people who have been through many difficult situations. They have let it soften them, not harden them. They have become more loving, less judgmental, more willing to be vulnerable.
What jars do you have on your shelf?
How will you let the pain you have experienced make you a safer person?
As a result of growing in our understanding of water concerns Bill and I are adopting One Drop as our official charity to partner with as we establish The Cedars Retreat and Event Center. One Drop has a mandate of creating sustainable access to safe water.
“Access to safe water is one of the most efficient ways to support individual and collective development. However, water projects can fail …(to) help solve these problems, ONE DROP™ has developed the unique A∙B∙C for Sustainability™ intervention approach, a winning combination of strategic and operational initiatives designed to address sustainable access to safe water.”
Posted on Thu, November 5, 2015
by Marilyn Orr filed under