Turmoil….and it too shall pass!

It seems we are more enmeshed in TURMOIL these days than ever before. Here is a shared “mindfulness” perspective. 

There is social turmoil in this country right now over racial, ethnic, religious, or socio-economic differences. There is political turmoil with a threat to our country’s democracy and our relationship with other world leaders and their respective governments.

There is also internal personal turmoil, not only from the aforementioned causes, but also as we deal with increasingly alarming rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, physical problems from life-threatening and debilitating disease, etc. …less we forget the turmoil in our lives often caused by the death of a loved one.

Unfortunately, turmoil, like suffering, is inevitable. We can’t escape the plight of having these disruptions in both our inner and external lives. They will exist as long as we continue to breathe. So what do we do about it? How can we best handle it?

The first step is the acceptance that at one time or another, turmoil occurs. Our country, our society, our personal existence is founded on it. Our Nation has survived one struggle after another from the presence of social injustice to the frequent absence of inherent and acceptable moral behavior most often displayed by those who place ego and self above their oath and duty. Yet these circumstances are resurrected time after time, from generation to generation… sometimes to a lesser degree and sometimes to a greater degree. We have faced personal crises with pain and heartache, and yet we have overcome the turmoil, even if at times, we are feeling incapable of survival or seem lost without a sense of direction or purpose. We just have to remind ourselves how resilient we can be simply by adopting a strategy of being proactive in a constructive manner with positive thoughts and actions; but, most importantly having patience for the inevitable “change” to occur.

So what else can we do to prevent the turmoil in life raining on our parade and affecting our well-being? (those feelings of anxiety, worry and stress) We can accept it, know it is cyclical and know that when it ends (and it will) we will be stronger and wiser. .Every situation in life is impermanent. It’s our thoughts about the situation, not the situation itself, that determine the amount of stress and anxiety we experience. Thinking & thinking & thinking about it perpetuates and recycles the turmoil and worry within us. We can’t change the past, but we can develop an awareness of our reactions to our present fearful, worrisome thoughts and choose to change how we react to them. The more we worry,  the better we become at “worrying”.

Turmoil comes and goes eventually gifting us growth, resolution, clarity and rebirth. We cannot allow our thoughts about turmoil in our life to control us,  shake us or destroy us. We must endeavor to become aware of those thoughts that cause us inner turmoil. …..then choose to just “let them be” and return our focus to the positive, grateful, and appreciative aspects of our life. Every experience in life is a teaching moment.

"…sometimes when everything is in turmoil, it's because something wonderful is ready to be born and that thing is distracting you so it can have some privacy during the birthing process”. Pearl Cleage