In a recurring vision, I am in the middle of a storm. The wind is whipping. Debris is flying. The constant and determined rain assaults my face and impairs my vision. I look around and do not see any sensible place to take cover, and so, I run. I push forward hoping to fight through. I am in a complete panic, until suddenly, I stop. Something tells me to stand still. It tugs at my arm and whispers to let go of the fight and allow the storm to continue on her path, forging ahead without me. It takes a minute, but as soon as I stop resisting, the weather passes quickly. The wind travels beyond the place where I am standing and the sun begins to push through the clouds. The calm and warm envelop me and I feel a huge sense of relief.
This is a vision I have from time to time when life’s cyclones enter my life and my fight or flight response kicks in. Whenever I am flailing about trying to conquer or outrun a chaotic or dangerous situation, I remember this concept and consider a more passive approach. Sometimes it is important to fight or to run, but not always.
The Covid crisis has brought this point to the forefront, particularly as of late. When the pandemic storm originally hit last spring, people responded by taking cover, by exercising humility in the face of nature’s power, by being patient, by using the time to heal and reflect, and by relinquishing control. Now, some months later, many have lost tolerance and are moving outward and onward, sometimes denying or ignoring the realities of the storm that is still raging. I’m not sure this is the best approach.
If we can be patient, have trust, let go of expectations and be open to new insights, if we can allow the squall to blow by in its own way and time, we may be less damaged in the end. Once the skies have cleared, we may be offered new insights and opportunities. We may find that we are exactly where we are meant to be and by digging a little deeper, we can glean everything we desire from our current position. We may see that the answers will come to us rather than always having to search for them.
This weekend, a storm blew through town with heavy snow and high winds. Eventually, the weaker tree limbs gave way and the power went out. At first we were upset. We weren’t prepared and certainly not in the mood to deal with this disruption to our plans. We struggled for a while, frantically removing snow and grappling with the generator. I lit candles in the house and tried to figure out what we could eat that wouldn’t require water or heat. We were both cursing under our breaths until at one point we looked at each other, at the beautifully lit house, the roaring fire, and realized we were actually in a great place. We abandoned all efforts to battle the situation and surrendered to the moment. We ended up sitting by the fire, sipping a whiskey and engaging in stimulating conversation. We lost all track of time and before we knew it, the storm had subsided. The power was restored and our night resumed, with a more charged energy than it would have otherwise.
I believe there is a time for everything. There is a time to fight and a time to run, and there is also a time to stand still.