I was walking home from Molly’s Bistro the other day and had the good fortune to run into a beautiful friend of mine who asked me, “Are you worried about the river?”
“Do you mean, am I worried about the river flooding again this spring?” I clarified.
“Yes,” she said.
“No,” I said, “Not at all. I love this river and I’m not afraid of it or its flooding. Truthfully, if Mother Nature wants this river to flood, it’ll flood. I am more concerned about ‘the powers that be’ who have a stake in this particular water system. I have more faith in Mother Nature than I do in them. I hope that they have learned from their errors that contributed to last year’s spring flooding”
“I love this river too,” she honestly replied, “but I am afraid of what might happen this spring. And you’re right, if Mother Nature chooses, there is nothing we can do about it, but I’ve been working in my basement all winter. We’ve done everything to the house that we can to protect it from another flooding. I just can’t go through it again.”
“Fair enough. I don’t want to go through another flooding disaster like last spring either. And, in a practical sense, I’ve got all basement renovations on hold now until after the spring melt, but I am also not worried about it. Simply because there is nothing I can do about it. I don’t believe in wasting my mental energy on something I cannot do anything about.
And in my personal belief system, everything happens for a reason. If it wasn’t for last year’s flood, you and I would not have met because I would not have presented at The Reading Writing Connection. If it wasn’t for the flood, you and I wouldn’t have experienced the strength of this community and its fine spirit. If it wasn’t for the flood, I would be unhappily stuck in my old job feeling miserable, as opposed to writing, presenting, life coaching and mentoring. And if it wasn’t for the flood, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, and for that alone, it was worth it.” With that we hugged, said our personal prayers to the river, and went our separate ways.
But the conversation stayed with me as I find myself reflecting on the question “am I afraid?” As I recall everything that has happened over the past year, I realize that nothing, absolutely nothing, about this year is like any other year I have experienced. All routines have been changed. All past patterns have been dismantled; continue to be dismantled. Everything is different.
As I write out this blog I think that I should feel daunted by that fact; however, I am awed that the exact opposite is true. I am so eternally grateful that everything is different. I am eternally grateful that my life is upside down; that I am writing chapter 5 of my manuscript; that I am still squeaking by on a line of credit; that I have made the decision to focus on life mentoring and joy coaching; that I continue to battle my personal fears and demons.
I feel more alive and invigorated by life than I have in a long while. That is the underlying difference in my life and the gift I received from the mental anguish I felt during the spring flood. Do I want to go through it again? No. Am I afraid to go through it again? No.
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