Forced to Stop

“Everything has come to a halt.”

This what we hear in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The East Coast, known for it’s go-go-go pace, has been forced to stop.

In New York City, many of the subway lines are underwater, and will continue to be for several WEEKS. Folks are receiving this news while sitting in the dark.

Watching footage of National Guard trucks wading through flooded streets of my former home in Hoboken, NJ is simply surreal. But a person doesn’t need a personal connection to a place to feel the despair of its residents. Many of us have spent the past few days watching TV and news feeds with pictures of streets that look more like rivers, ironic fires blazing amidst overwhelming water…and darkness.

So much darkness.

For all of us, there comes a time when we are forced to stop.

Forced stopping may appear in the form of  weather or death or disease or simple exhaustion. When it arrives, there tends to be a mixture of relief and frustration.

Relief, because on some spirit level, we are grateful for a break. Frustration, because at core, many of us don’t know how to stop.

We need to learn. These “bad things” happening can be our teachers. (if we let them)

Learning to stop doesn’t mean ceasing to exist, or not doing anything at all. It’s a challenge to live and work differently. To be more and do less. To listen to our spirit more than our minds. To learn to trust that everything will be okay, even if we’re not sure how. To learn to wave the white flag when it comes to control.

Surrender is not a simple, overnight process. So in the interim, let’s work on PATIENCE.

Patience with each other. And perhaps more importantly, patience with ourselves.

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