do you remember the days of your youth.
when cares were far away. adventure was everywhere? plunging yourself, filled with hope, trust and expectancy was as natural as breathing. determination was strong. dreams were big. everything imagined must surely be possible. the journey was exciting and new, so much to learn, so much to experience. life was simple. when you were hungry, a request could be made and the need met. if you needed comfort, you would crawl up into the lap of a loved one and snuggle in…the world was better. life impacts are as easy to see as the impact of age.
in the movie, “the vow”, leo states, “Life’s all about moments of impact and how they change our lives forever.” we all have them. we are all changed. those impacts drive “why we do the things we do”.
impacts like the tornado in Oklahoma. my heart, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have been impacted by loss due to this tragedy.
our lives are impacted in so many wonderful ways (and i will discuss that in another blog). i can recall lovely memories of impacts that were joyous. those impacts encountered on my journey gave me reasons i do what i do in relation to traditions, values, influential characteristics, the peace in my life and how i relate better to the world. it’s the unsolicited negative impacts that shake me to my core and often filter through my life in subtle ways changing the way i do the things i do.
waking with the world as it should be and ending the day with incomprehensible devastation sends shock waves through the heart. for me, although i live in NZ now where tornados are not common (and i sit in the safety of my environment),hearing the Oklahoma news causes me to relive my childhood memories of nights in the basement, standing on the patio petrified of the swirl of the clouds above, or shaking in my bed in fear of the weather warning on the nightly news. i know this pain. my hometown was hit by a huge tornado when i was in college. my mother and sister were driving in the path of this great monster cloud. my brother helped with the rescue efforts. the shopping center where i worked was in the direct path of the tornado (although i was not at work that day). massive destruction. i still long for the safety of a storm cellar or basement during strong winds even though the odds of a tornado are pretty much nil here. i am planning to build a new home in the coming years. being the planner that i am…i am starting now gathering all the ideas i hope to incorporate into this new home. my plan includes a full basement which contains a second lounge (oh, BTW that is NZ for den) with 5 bedrooms and en suites(bathrooms). i want this for my children and grandchildren to have a lovely place to visit. however, the subtle truth that lingers deep within my heart is that i want a “safe” place of retreat should it ever be needed. that subtle truth directly relates to the impact that living in tornado alley had on my life. impact. i think it’s the uncontrollable impacts that drive us to find a ways to control and prevent facing that kind of impact EVER again. following the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ a couple of years ago, many families moved to regions less likely to experience earthquakes. intuitively, we reach for significance, value, love, hope, dreams, wholeness, justice, and relief from pain.
i can’t remember a single day that i thought, “i need a little pain today”. right? my heart can be wounded without any effort of my own. natural disaster. accident. loss of a loved one. divorce. the list is actually overwhelming. i won’t pretend i understand why things happen. it’s a universal question. (i will say on behalf of humanity, hurting people hurt people. i know there have been times in my life during disparaging pain, i have been less than proud of some of my actions. a wounded heart sometimes lashes out as a cry for relief from the barrage of pain it is experiencing.) i will attempt to share a small part of my journey to recovery.
while my heart can be wounded without any effort on my part, recovery requires deliberate and purposeful action. it is a control that i can take in my own life. this is a process. everyone has a differing level of urgency in the pursuit of recovery. however, pain gets our attention and sets us on the journey toward recovery. causes a reach for higher, deeper, stronger meaning to our existence. i don’t like to feel pain. allowing myself to feel gives me understanding like a barometer or oil gauge guiding me to the need…the bottom line…where i need help.
following a negative impact in life, finding a safe place of encouragement and support in important. an instinctive response can be to isolate in hope of protecting the heart. loss of faith in God or the good of mankind tend to be the first and hardest hit. faith gets us through. in my life, i have chosen to have faith in God. i have needed faith in myself (i can be my own worst critic) that i had the strength i did not feel (give myself a break). i needed faith in the support from family, friends, my community and/or professionals. These components can be seen following natural disasters like the tornado in Oklahoma. Hearts prayed and cried out to God; a source greater than ourselves is so vital. Nieghbors and communities pulled together in support as they awaited the teams of rescue services and resources. support and encouragement surrounded the hurting. recovery, in small steps, could begin. these elements provide the courage to the heart to charge toward rebuilding life. Rebuilding is another process in recovery. tools are available to help a life to go on, survive, hope, live and thrive…restore.
i am reminded of the children’s movie, “the lion king”. following the oppression, the fire and devastation, there is a scene of the day when the sun rises, the grass begins to grow once more, and life is renewed and restored. no matter how completely despairing the day my seem, the sun shines again. growth returns, and life is evident once more. the heart will find wings and soar again.
i prefer celebrations. i prefer the joyful impacts rather than the painful impacts. however, when necessary there is a way through the pain. i know by experience this is truth. i have the scars to prove it. the scars are there to remind me how courageous i was. that i did heal. the pain and tears are past. joy has returned. i am stronger.
again, my prayers are with Oklahoma. my hope is for a speedy recovery to the wounded both in body and soul. i trust the rebuilding process is productive toward producing new dreams and accomplishments. i am sure the effected communities are grateful for the support from far and near as they work toward brighter days.
“Life’s all about moments of impact and how they change our lives forever.” as you face your moments, may you find courage and strength, hope and love, faith and assurance.
Thanks for stopping by,
- Help AID Oklahoma Tornado Victims: Help Save the Next Life (imaginepublicity.com)
- Deadly tornado: from search for survivors to recovery (kfor.com)
- ‘Tornado Mom’ to Okla. victims: ‘You will rebuild’ (today.com)