Thursday, November 26, 2009

Every Cloud...

Dearest Readers,

There's nothing like waking up to the sound of a hairball making its way up a cat's gullet at 5:30 a.m. Probably a good thing. I would have ignored the alarm clock.

Instead, I woke up like a shot to push the cat off the bed so he wouldn't barf up the hairball on the comforter. He kindly did his business on the floor and I got out of bed.

If everything happens for a reason then that cat exists to get me out of bed.

Does everything happen for a reason?

Recently, I was working with a group of young women on a show they're creating about safe sex. We were sitting in a sharing circle, which started our day of activities, and I asked them each to answer me two things: what did she fear and in what did she have faith?

We went around the circle and most were very open about the fear part. Some were as open about the faith answer but many of them couldn't come up with anything at all.

One gal said she believed everything happens for a reason and at the end of the discussion I asked how many others believed this as well. Some put up their hands, others didn't. One was particularly vocal about why she absolutely didn't believe this to be true.

I'm not sure if I believe it myself. I subscribe to something similar but it may be described in a slightly different way. I believe that some purpose can be drawn from everything that happens; something positive can always be found from the seemingly negative.

Every cloud has a silver lining? Yes, I think that's right.

I'll never forget one of the first times I began to see this belief system in action. I was living in Edmonton at the time, in pretty dire circumstances, but it was also a time of awakening to the idea that Greater Purpose may be found in the things that challenge us.

It was late winter/early spring in 1997. The apartment in which I was living had no furniture and a small TV with no cable. I would come home from the Chinese restaurant where I was working and watch the National and go to bed. (The longer story would fill a novel.)

At that time, the Red River in Manitoba was flooding. People were losing their homes. It was terrible to witness. I remember thinking how unjust the world was, how unforgiving and cruel.

One of the worst things a person can imagine is losing a home and all her belongings but as I watched this drama unfold on that little box I saw that this circumstance might not be the worst thing after all.

The CBC was talking to the people who were affected by the disaster and do you know what they were saying?

They were saying things like, "This flood has brought people together like never before." Or, "It has shown us that we're a community and that we can work together." "There are neighbours helping each other that haven't spoken in years."

The Great Mystery. We simply do not know. But how we perceive things is up to us. This is where we do have power. We have the power to see the positive in the negative. This is how we change the world.

Inspiring Message of the Day: When something "bad" happens I will use it as an opportunity to seek out the good. I will look for the silver lining.

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