While driving from Sonoma to Santa Rosa recently I faced the cruel aftermath of the fires. It was overwhelming to witness firsthand the destruction. Isolated chimneys, metal staircases and foundations were surrounded by only ashes and burnt remnants of what was. Right next to these devastating scenes were homes completely untouched by the fires. Why were some homes in complete ruins while others, only yards away, left standing virtually untouched. Why? The ultimate question.
I asked this question many times after my brush with death. Why? Why me? Why are some people hit so hard - so traumatized, while others not? Why did some loose it all while others, with homes almost right next to them, didn't? In Las Vegas, why were some people hit with bullets and other not? When answering the call to service, why do some of our brave military men and women come home and others do not? Why? Why them?
These are natural, even necessary questions but ones with no really good answers, at least not at the beginning of the trauma journey. A good friend and spiritual advisor told me: 'you might not actually understand that for many years'. What then becomes necessary and important is to find a glimmer of hope, accept what is and choose to live a worthy, grateful, purposeful life - daily. You don't need to start a business or write a book, just take time and remind yourself of what you have. Focus on gratitude and daily miracles and live a life that praises your survival and the gifts that have and will continue to come forth. There is a simplicity, a simple beauty to living life in this manner. Being simple does not mean it is not worthy. It means you got to the essence, the core of the message and experience. So make it your purpose to just be there for others affected by the recent fires or other traumas. Survivors don't need advice or an opinion, they need your presence. Extend a useful hand, a hug and hope for a brighter future. It goes a long way toward helping and healing.
For 2018, instead of asking 'why', or 'why me' let's ask instead, 'what good shall I do this day'?.Let the focus of our lives bringing kindness, gratitude and love into our relationships and lives, not in spite of our suffering but directly because of it. It is through the most devastating times that we find our humanity, strength and purpose. Metahab has ours - it is to serve all who have faced and survived destruction, trauma and the hopelessness that can result. To help survivors heal, recognize a new life and grow: to survive, adapt and amaze. Please join us in this mission. If you know someone suffering, in despair or struggling, let them know about us. Make part of your purpose helping ours.
Merry Christmas and wishing all a life full of gratitude, love and purpose in 2018