How To Overcome Disaster With Your Sanity Intact

When a disaster happens, it’s easy to see the pain and torture to second guess what was done in the past. It’s also easy to see the pain in guessing what if and trying to force certainty to the future. This is something I’ve dealt with and I hope talking about it is useful for you also. How many times do we think what if we have done something different yesterday? What if I guarantee something would happen a different way tomorrow? Life is hard that way. It’s torture to do that because you can’t go back and change the past. You can’t make certain what’s going to happen in the future.

This was obvious for me yesterday evening. My brother gave me a call and it started off with are you sitting down. He said that mom fell off her horse when she was riding last night. Thank god she has this little gizmo on her wrist that all she had to do is press a button and it calls my brother. She got that months ago just in case she did fall off the horse. Thank God it worked. She’s getting help now. They took her in a chopper and flew her at least 100 miles where she could get some help.

It’s easy to look at that and look at all the things around it and to wonder what if. I know for most of my life I would’ve done that. That’s where the majority of misery comes from. That’s where most of the pain and suffering comes from. It’s not the incident itself.

My eyes got some blood clots in them because once my brother gave me the full explanation about how my mom was doing it hurt. I just curled up on the ground and sobbed. It hurts when you face the feelings. It hurts to have someone that loves you with their pelvis crushed and broken ribs. It hurts a lot less if you don’t go through and quarterback everything that happens in the past. The day before I talked to my mom and she was talking about coming to visit and we had a difficult conversation.

My wife says I handled it well. I just said I love you mom, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I hope you see your granddaughter when it’s time. I thought based on what my mom said that I was nice about it and loving. I told her I don’t know how much time I’ll have with my mom. I don’t know how much time we’ll have with anyone. My dad already passed away so every time I talk to my mom I remember mom’s not going to be around for the rest of my life. I’m thankful that it allowed me to make what could’ve been an awful conversation one that wasn’t so awful. It’s easy to go back and say what if I had done this or that in the conversation.

I texted her hours before she went out riding and fell. I tried to call both  her home and her cell phone and still had that desire to question everything. I thought what if I sent her a text that said more than I love you and I hope we can talk soon. What if you left her a voicemail. What if we talked more times. It’s so easy to do that and that’s where the majority of the pain and suffering comes in is I notice the absence of that. Every time that starts to come up, I ask for help to stay right in this moment because that’s my mind taking me into hell.

I cannot change anything that has happened, even the words I just said before this.  I can’t change anything that has happened in the past and I can’t force certainty on the future.

It’s even worse with the future. I’ve had an even more challenging time accepting how uncertain the future is. I don’t know where mom’s going to need to live to get the care she needs. I don’t know anything about what she’s going to need to do to rehab. It’s clear she’s going to have significant rehab with a broken pelvis, broken ribs, and an injured spine. All her limbs are working I’m thankful for every update I get today. I don’t know exactly when would be the right time to visit her. She’s about 700 miles away. I just went to grandmas funeral last week and I’m still getting in sync again after that trip.

It was hard taking that trip. It was hard coming back from that trip and I got no work done. The thing is I don’t know what the future looks like. What I do know is I have the right information I need now to do the right thing. If I need to go in the future, I will know when it’s time to start planning it. Right now I don’t see what opportunity there is to plan. That allows me to just sit here and be where I’m at. If I need to plan but then I don’t have to live it before it’s happened. Most of the things in my life I plan I try to live them out before they have happened and that is miserable too because it’s a lie. How many conversations have you had where you thought about what you were going to say and what the other person would say in response? It’s miserable because it’s just some fantasy. When you pay attention to what’s going on, you can usually pay attention to whatever is thrown at you. If you just stand there and let it happen, usually it’s okay.

It’s nice to have the opportunity to be here with you today. I’m thankful to know that the things that I experience are things that everyone experiences in one form or another. It seems the things I talk about I experience through what my wife says is a self-aware point of view then I think that can be helpful for you to be self aware of you. The miracle to me seem to have that watching presence all the time that the situation itself doesn’t put you to sleep.

Even last night as I’m crying on the floor and just thinking Mommy. Then I’m still there watching that also. I’m not out of pain and suffering,  I’m still there. I see what’s going on in the room. I went to pray. After I talked to my brother and then I slipped from my knees into laying on the floor and crying.

Even though I was hurting I wouldn’t say I was miserable. I was in pain, but it wasn’t awful because I let it in and I didn’t fight it. This is the pain I need right now and I want to feel it, I don’t want to fight it. Then I woke my wife up and took more time to let it out and let it hurt. Instead of going around with all these bottled up emotions and that anger under the surface. I let it come through and let it be felt. I let it be felt and then be pure again.

It’s amazing to see how it’s possible to deal with things in a new light. Before, I would see events and look back and flip out, and  try to make the future certain and get upset over that. It’s a miracle to see how life can be in the same body because this is so much of a different experience. It doesn’t feel like I’m the same at all on the surface. The person that lived most of my adult life. I couldn’t tell you where they are. Whatever is here is going on in my body is much bigger than whatever idea I had of myself before.

Eckhart Tolle says that things shared in presence come through. The word doesn’t exactly matter. Even just reading the written words can convey that presence. I hope that I’m another voice that’s useful for you with all these practical day-to-day issues. You can see how I deal with all these issues in my life. You have all these things that come up in your life, too. I hope that by watching this you don’t feel so alone in whatever you’re dealing with today. I, for the first time with something like this, don’t feel alone. I don’t feel alone because I know there are a lot of people right now whose mother’s family brother loved ones and kids are in pain or are the one in pain. I don’t feel alone.

This is something all of us are doing together. Everyone has someone in their life that’s in some state of pain now whether it’s an addiction or actual pain.

My brother is going through this too. We are both going through the same thing and I didn’t know what to say to him. He said he thinks someone needs to be there on Thursday. I said I don’t know if anyone needs to be there on Thursday. I don’t know that. Maybe someone does and maybe someone doesn’t. The lady that’s been there with my mom may be leaving tomorrow and my brother says someone needs to be there.

He asked will I be there. I said I don’t think I’ll be there on Thursday because it requires moving Madeline and her mom and getting them setup somewhere else. I just came back from a trip and I don’t know if I can be there Thursday for sure. I can’t say right now that yes, I can definitely do that with no plans. My guess is that I’m not going to be able to be there on Thursday. My brother wants certainty. He wants to be able to know right now. Maybe he needs to be the one that’s there on Thursday and he needs to cancel the things he has planned. I don’t know anything. I know I’m in the right place right now. I do know that.

The beauty of that is I’m always in the right place right now. If I feel called to a new place then the desire to plan where I am to get there will come up. I want to be there for my mom. The number one priority in my life is to take care of myself. If I’m not taking care of myself then I definitely can’t take care of anyone else. Most of my life other people had to take care of themselves and helps take care of me.

Usually I can take care of myself, but it’s easiest when I’m at home. It’s challenging to take care of myself in new situations. The number two priority is to be there for my wife. Little Madeline just went to the pediatric dentist and laser center to have surgery, she is number three and then my friends and family after that. There’s a lot of uncertainty in life. There’s so much uncertainty and when something happens to your friends it can be tough to balance where should I be to care for myself and the people in my life. I’m comfortable with that uncertainty today.

I know there’s a lot I don’t know and I’m okay with that because it’s miserable to not be okay with that. I love my brother and he sounded like he was hurting pretty bad. He’s not emotional though. He doesn’t cry about stuff. He’s how I was most of my life. He handles things the same way I did most of my life and most of my life it hurt under the surface all the time. What I tried to do is numb the pain all the time. I’m grateful I have a new way to live today. I’m grateful to have the chance to know that I’m not alone.

I can be thankful when something bad happens and it wasn’t worse. I thank God for everything I have. I thank God a lot mom is alive still that she had that little phone on her wrist. I’m grateful that she called my brother and he called the paramedics and they came out and got her. I’m so grateful for everything.

I pray today that I remember what I’ve shared here with you the next time I ask myself what if I would’ve done something else. This needs to be a certain way in the future. I will remember what I’ve shared here and let that thought go. I stay in the moment. I pray that I will be free from things like anxiety and unnecessary anger, stress, and worry. I can be a center of peace love and hope for everyone in my life. I can deliver that as best I can from wherever I’m at. I pray that you have that chance today to be that center of peace, love, and joy for everyone around you. I pray that you are free from the bondage of past and  the need to predict everything in the future. I’m grateful to have the chance to be here with you today. I love your feedback. Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a great day today.