Observing the Wind

A recently widowed friend says that without her husband of almost fifty years, even little things have changed.

A few weeks after her husband’s death, strong storm winds rattled the roof during the night, and she felt helpless and a bit frightened in the darkness.  But she has found that allowing herself to feel her feelings fully and then paying attention to them helps.

She told me: “I have to take out every fear and look at it.  So what if I need to get the roof fixed?”

Looking closely and separating the immediate problem–the potential roof damage–from the larger loss of her husband’s presence, brought her calm.

I am struck by her wisdom.

Neither my friend nor I know much about Lao Tzu or his writings from many hundreds of years ago, but I think she would agree with his advice:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.”

We can’t keep the wind from blowing, any more than I could stop the death (perhaps by bird?) of the butterfly whose wing is pictured above in my “butterfly puddle”.

But we can allow the wind to shake our foundations, notice its force, even inspect it, and then let it be.

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If you’re interested in creating a butterfly puddling area, you can check out info here: http://birdsandbloomsblog.com/2011/04/14/butterflypuddlingspot/

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Writing Practice:

Complete the following:  Life is a series of _____________________.

What fears do you have which might benefit from closer inspection?

2 thoughts on “Observing the Wind

  1. The Tao says what we resist persists and by surrendering to what is allows us to flow into the next change where resisting freezes in a bad moment with no place to shift to And no opportunity to learn from trying something

    I once challenged a student who was stuck in grief over over a breakup to let his self feel it more instead of resisting. He thought he would then go into a black hole of despair and never come out and this was almost time for finals his senior year of college. Well he trusted me and tried it. He got all her things out, sprayed her favorite perfume in the Air, and let himself feel it all. After two hours he was exhausted but done. There was room to have other feelings, ideas , and change was allowed in again. He was shocked at how the solution was surrendering instead of resisting what was happening inside him.
    Now I try to remember how often my solution becomes the problem I was trying to avoid in the first place

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