Monday, December 14, 2009

An Eye To The Light

An Eye To The Light

The list can grow every day. We see economic downturn, job loss, overwhelming responsibility, deployment, money worries, relationship problems and on and on. Times can be difficult for a lot of reasons. They range from global economic and environmental factors, through local challenges in our work and communities, to problems touching the groundwork of our close relationships with friends, neighbors, and family members. In the complexity and diversity of this network, it seems that when things get difficult, they rarely happen in isolation. Problems don’t come one at a time.

Difficult times can present us with terrifying images of change, loss, failure, illness, death, or betrayal – a seemingly endless flow of things that threaten to separate us from the light of the vision of what we want our lives to be. Watching the work of your heart coming apart or having to participate in its undoing can blind us to anything but the frantic need to do whatever it takes to preserve what we have. Paradoxically, that strategy, with its failure of vision can easily become one more tool in the destruction of the things we hold most dear.

So, what are our options? We rehearse through them in our minds and they run the gamut. They include images of unmitigated failure and loss, ruthless protectionism, and anything else we happen to come up with in our fear. It can become very dark. We lose touch with the fact that this is the natural flow of things.

We cannot stop the cycle of creation, maturation, and destruction, but can remind ourselves that re-creation and renewal are also implied. This flow of life is inexorable. We cannot interrupt it, but we empower ourselves when we maintain a focus on living consistent with the values that are important to us rather than violating them in a desperate effort to preserve their current form. When we look to our values as a beacon in the darkness, we find acceptance in our commitment to a purpose and are ready to move forward creatively even in those dark hours before the cycle turns upward again.