All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone. ~Blaise Pascal~~
Kansas City had two major snow storms in the past week. The Mayor declared a Emergency each time, and all activity ground to a halt. People stayed home, and things got really quiet outside. Power went out for many people too, and that freaked them out. It made me very grateful that I love the stillness, even without a major snow storm, and that I’ve found a source of power within that sustains me. Even power outages don’t worry me, because I know it will come back on. I live almost by candlelight anyway, and have plenty of warm clothes for such times. The power companies here are efficient with such things too.
I heard people say that they “couldn’t stand another day alone”, and that the hours without power were, “the longest of their life.” There was a time in my life when I felt that way too, and I went from place to place in search of some elusive comfort. One of the most crashingly painful moments of my life was realizing that I would never find that comfort “out there.” It terrified me for a time, because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t have to know, I only had to want to know how to feel good. I loved every minute of the storms this year. The stillness; the beauty of the snow, and the arrival of a new variety of birds at my feeder. I felt like this time was a gift, and a sanctioned time out from thinking and regular activity.
I meditated and contemplated. I rested and I wrote. I didn’t have a shovel because I’ve not needed one here, so far. And yet, I was plowed out each day by some kind passerby with a big truck. I noticed how grateful I was to love where I live, and how simply I live. Restored in a way that I can’t describe, I feel clear, and ready.
I loved the kindness I saw in others, as they helped each other dig out. And today, I noticed how friendly people seemed after a day or two off.
Appreciating stillness and knowing the true source of power, are two of the most profound changes in me since I recovered from alcoholism and depression. That’s because I have a relationship with God, and stillness is where I found it. Even among external chaos and without a great deal of training, God came to me. Because I wanted God more than I wanted anything. I had my share of great things and memorable experiences, but they didn’t fill me the way God does.
Spiritual teachers of all kinds write about simplicity and stillness precisely because of their potency and power. Less is more. Less noise, less distraction, less effort.
I’m finally learning to relax. When I relax, I can be moved. That’s what I feel in the stillness; power within, and that source will never go out.
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