How many times have I heard this quote! When I am experiencing trouble or worry, this quote is the refrain I keep in my mind. For me it means that our lives and all we do (or don’t do) in them are all under the loving eye of <insert whatever deity is your own here>; that ultimately, all is well.
When the waves are so high that we cannot see the shore, we have to believe that it is there, and that we will reach it. When there are so many boulders in our path that we can’t see our way over, around or through, there is a passage; we just have to look or it. When all and everyone seems to desert us, we aren’t alone—ever.
If we had the eyes and intelligence of an omnipotent being, we would see the world we live in as another spec of dust in the cosmos. But that omnipotent being still has love and understanding for us, and wants us to be happy. It sees all of us, not as a clump of humanity inhabiting this tiny spec of dust; but a living, breathing, intelligent organism that is precious and valued in its eyes.
These days when there are so many terrible disasters; both from mankind and from nature, we can feel helpless and hopeless. ‘What can I do about any of this?’ we cry. ‘There is too much fear and horror and sadness—how can we help?’
What we can do is to NOT let all of this fester inside us and make us scared, bitter or worried. Unless we are directly involved and can actually do something to help what has happened, here are some things that we can do:
- If you know any of those directly affected, weep with them, put your arms around them, comfort them and be there for them. If you don’t know them, send them love and prayers.
- Do not let yourself be overwhelmed in sorrow. When remembering those who have been injured or have died, picture them in your mind, surrounded by never-ending love and comfort.
- If you yourself become overwhelmed with sorrow and pity, let your tears cleanse your pain; don’t hold back.
- Do not dwell on what may happen next; it is not given to any of us to know that.
- Be the best you that you can be. Don’t let these disasters make you bitter or fearful.
I’m sure that this is the corniest statement I’ve made since I began this blog, but I stand by it: don’t give up hope. Don’t give up on all of us living on this little ball of mud. For everything that is bad, there is far more good than we know. For everything that seems hopeless, there is still a lot of hope. For all those things that make us sad and worried, there are scores of people quietly doing good things.
When I am lying in bed, sleepless, my mind full of worry or sadness or fear or doubt, this is the mantra I keep in my head: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Try it out for yourself. It is surprisingly upbeat and comforting.
“The Lady Juliana was born about 1342, and when she was thirty years old, she became gravely ill and was expected to die. Then, on the seventh day, the medical crisis passed, and she had a series of fifteen visions, or “showings,” in which she was led to contemplate the Passion of Christ. These brought her great peace and joy.
She became an anchoress [or anchorite, a religious hermit], living in a small hut near to the church in Norwich, where she devoted the rest of her life to prayer and contemplation of the meaning of her visions. The results of her meditations she wrote in a book called Revelations of Divine Love, available in modern English in a Penguin Paperback edition.
During her lifetime, she became known as a counselor, whose advice combined spiritual insight with common sense, and many persons came to speak with her. Since her death, many more have found help in her writings.
….She describes seeing God holding a tiny thing in his hand, like a small brown nut, which seemed so fragile and insignificant that she wondered why it did not crumble before her eyes. She understood that the thing was the entire created universe, which is as nothing compared to its Creator, and she was told, ‘God made it, God loves it, God keeps it.'”