Lesson 25: Everyone’s challenge is different

It’s been a tragic week. Hurricane Sandy has brought all types of destruction and discomfort to the people of New York City: people have been killed, over 100 homes in Queens have burned down, the subways are rivers, widespread power outages, cable and internet down, and transportation has been shut down for days so people are stranded ­– no one can go to school or work (which has been kind of nice, I’m not gonna lie).

Which has really made me think. Everyone’s challenge in this disaster has been different.

I am sure there are plenty of New Yorkers just dying to get back to work, or losing their minds with the kids at home. I, on the other hand, have been very fortunate to be comfortable at home with power and hot water. My heart goes out to the thousands of people who have lost so much. I hope to be able to help in some way. In the meantime, I have had plenty of time to write, catch up on my sleep, workout, and take care of projects at home I’ve been neglecting for months. The only thing noticeably lacking in my life during this disaster is someone to share this experience with.

“One man’s pleasure is another man’s pain,” right?

I’ve lived through more than a few disasters alone (September 11th, the 2003 Blackout, the Christmas Blizzard of 2010…) and as grateful as I feel to be safe, I’d really like the “alone” part to change. There’s nothing that makes a bad situation worse than going through it alone. I’d kill for kids to entertain, a husband to complain to, or at least a roommate to hang out and watch movies with. It has irked me to hear people complain about having to walk 9 flights to get their bags to drive uptown with their families to stay somewhere with power. It sounds like an adventure to me – I’m actually jealous! Crazy, I know.

But I guess that’s exactly the point. Your pain could be my pleasure. It just depends on what you have, and what you don’t.

We all have different “corrections” or personal issues to deal with in this lifetime, and so we each get different challenges to overcome them. Some of us are more selfish, or lazy, or controlling, or materialistic… fill in your own weakness here. And I believe the universe “grants” us with challenges to see and do things differently. The choice is up to us: whether we see the hardship as a punishment, or an opportunity.

It has been suggested to me to see this hurricane, and all that’s been stirred up in my life lately, as a strong wind blowing away the old and bringing in the new. Like an Etch-a-sketch, we can all start over and draw a new picture. With whatever and whoever we want in it.

We can let the strong winds of Hurricane Sandy carry away all old ways of thinking and behaving that no longer server our highest good. We can decide to do things differently. And trust that by doing so, something better will come to fill in the open space left behind.

Help those affected by Hurricane Sandylearn how to help here.

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