Four Things To Remember After A Storm
Life is one complicated heap of mess, or so it would seem for some of us who are experiencing overwhelming challenges. As I looked at the many videos on the various social media forums and news websites, I imagined how it is for those who are in the situation. A series of hurricanes including Harvey and Irma have done more destruction than I have ever seen in my time on this earth. My heart grieved for the people in the recent disaster that was Irma, who destroyed the beautiful Caribbean in a few days.
I looked in awe at the pictures of buildings that were completely destroyed passage of hurricane Irma. Most of the photos I have seen so far are from the islands of St. Martin, Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands; however, I have listened to reports of damage from Anguilla, St. Thomas and a few other Caribbean countries. I have seen flooding in parts of the United States as Irma traveled across the land.
I was not there, but it did not stop the tears and the heartbreak as I listened to the stories of people and what they did to survive. The sadness I felt as I watched thousands being evacuated from a place they have called home. The fear I felt for those in areas where looting and crime is alleged to have occurred. The concern I felt for those who did not have food to eat. Neither did it stop me from empathizing with persons who were in a state of worry as they tried desperately to get information about their loved ones.
I may not have been in a hurricane like Irma, but the struggle I have been through has been a personal storm of another type. The feelings of despair and hopelessness I had to deal with are like those resulting from any storm. Not to mention the discomfort and not having the resources you need to carry out the activities of daily living. The reality that I had to pick up the pieces and move on is similar to what has happened to those affected by this storm. As the reality of your situation sinks in, I urge you to consider these things:
- Your greatest gift is life. As long as you are alive and healthy, everything else is possible. Material things can always be replaced (I know, I had to start all over when I returned home without a job). Give thanks to the Almighty for life always. Amidst all of this destruction, I remain hopeful. Thousands of homes and the countries’ infrastructure are in complete ruins after this hurricane, yet I remain hopeful. For the persons who are very fortunate to have survived a category 5 Hurricane and lived to tell the story, I say to you that there is hope. You have life, which is the most important gift.
- In times like these, your true strength will be tested. When things are going smoothly in your lives, you might tend to feel strong and positive. However, when things happen and turn your world upside down this is when you need to have those feelings of positivity and hopefulness. In such situations as Irma has created, it is crucial that you change the way you see things. It is not what is happening or has happened to you, but rather how you respond to what is happening or has happened.
- As you struggle to find the meaning of this destruction, I urge you to take one day at a time. The Almighty did not build the world in one day, therefore, you will not meet the level of comfort that you once had in a day. Each day you arise, be thankful for the little you have, while taking small steps to improve the situation. Remember, some people did not make it through the storm. You have life, all else is secondary.
4. In all you do be kind to yourself and others. It is easy to become bitter or angry, but do not be caught up in those feelings of selfishness. It is okay to grieve about what has happened, however, do not get sucked in by your situation to the point where you are unable to cope. Instead of grieving by yourself, find ways of helping out around you.
People unite and help each other are more prosperous than people who fight against each other. Let those of us who can, help those who are in need at this difficult time.
In life, so many things can happen to you, but one thing is sure…how you deal with these challenges will decide the quality of the life you live. It is either you choose to look at your circumstances and complain, or look at what is happening, accept your situation, and decide to take on the challenges before you.