WISDOM OF UNCERTAINTY, INSECURITY and how Deep Surrender to loss can transform the experience.
I was very moved, reading a feature article in our county newspaper, the Press Democrat. Staff Writer Pete Golis focused on community members who lost everything in the various record-breaking firestorms the past several years [Wake-Up Moment, Sunday, June 26.] And reminded me of teachings from the late Richard “Ram Dass” Alpert and from Deepak Chopra: Both speak of the “wisdom” of insecurity or uncertainty, the spiritual dimensions to uncover as we compassionately acknowledge and tend to healing our traumas, and seek to prevent reoccurrence. Golis reports the grief, rage, confusion, sense of overwhelming loss of loved ones’ lives, property and valuables, wild spaces, sense of security. Certainly the tasks of rebuilding, healing, restoring require fully witnessing the losses with our deepest empathy and kindness. Yet if we know where to look, there may be wisdom and healing within the losses. For instance, the preciousness of each day of life; gratitude for familial and community support, care, help — plus opportunities to learn how to receive with grace; appreciation for what we do have, not taking things for granted; to become more generous; to be more patient, kind, forgiving towards — and present with — those we love. Ironically, in the face of great loss, we are potentially poised to embrace Life more abundantly, with even greater faith in The Scheme O’ Things. By surrendering to a greater power, Grace is met.
While living in the San Diego area decades back, a fire razed the home and belongings of a local rabbi and his wife that I knew. The community rallied. I was amazed that the couple appeared cheerful, their faith strong, their gratitude in full view of the support. Not long after, they surprised everyone by embarking on career changes, revealing less conventional interests kept in secret before. Fascinated, I watched as they shed skins, coming more nakedly into the light to serve community in new ways: renewed, restored, reborn.
But my biggest wake-up call to this surrendered possibility came on October 9th, 2017, 1:20 a.m. I was literally awakened by a loud voice on my answer machine to evacuate immediately. Tubbs’ firestorms were headed my way. Stunned, I registered what was happening. What on earth should I grab to take, where could I go? A moment of intense alertness and transcendence washed over me. In a flash, first I sensed the impossibility of losing everything I own, my home, and having nothing to come back to — my life? In the next breath, I felt wholly free –of everything. Unfettered.
That transcendent moment was a Gift and I knew it, even as imminent danger had me scrambling to exit. Somehow, I knew I would be alright. No matter what. Hindsight would show me able to embrace the inherent insecurity of being alive and being human that my Buddhist mentors so often speak of. And the wisdom of acceptance and deep surrender that Ram Dass and Chopra speak so eloquently about.
What say you? Blessings, Marcia