I was recently chatting with a friend, about the chaos of the past year for me.
He, a very charismatic Christian, spoke about chaos and how often we welcome it in to our lives and I reluctantly agreed. We make decisions that invite chaos in and then suffer the consequences like we had no idea where they came from.
I have welcomed that chaos in over the past year, without even realising that I had done it. Yet as I look back now, each aspect of chaos in my life was ultimately a choice to invite it in or a choice to not take action to stop it.
I am very good at retrospect and have spent many months reflecting on what I could have done differently (and beating myself up) and then I came across this quote, by Deepak Chopra: (oooohhhh I love me some Deepak!!)
and it pretty much stopped me in my tracks.
What the heck does that even mean? That we have to go through chaos in order to come out of the other side a better person? Like the whole ‘light analogy’ that without the darkness, we wouldn’t fully understand the light??
Chaos to me means, uncertainty, change, stress – the dictionary definition of chaos is: complete disorder and confusion. Who is their right mind welcomes ‘disorder and confusion’ into their life?? But the more I have pondered this sentence, the more it rings true. Perhaps chaos is needed, to highlight and area of life that needs to change, a warning sign to point towards a new direction, a re-birth. A siren that you cannot ignore to signify a change is needed.
Then from that chaos, a new path that can no longer be ignored.
And whilst change is usually uncomfortable, it is also a new beginning, new hope.
And that is a pretty magical thing.
Moving to a foreign country and living in the heart of tornado alley for ten years brought about new levels of chaos. The chaos of moving, uprooting far away from friends and family who had been our security blanket, our safe place for decades. Then each spring, Mother Nature would show us her interpretation of chaos with wild thunderstorms and the threat of tornados – each bringing its own level of fear, uncertainty and complete loss of control. But as I look back now, I see that in each of those chaotic moments where I heard the tornado sirens at 4am and fear would strike me to act quickly, get the children out of bed and into a safer location – the chaos of the situation also gave me complete clarity – The safety of my family is my biggest priority.
The house, the cars, the stuff – can all be replaced, but these people, my people are all that matters.
And thats where I found myself in the dark times this year, surrounded by chaos, feeling like I was drowning, fighting change, trying to control the uncontrollable – the warning siren sounding loud and clear – it should have been a signal to me to go back to the basics – My people are all that matters.
But instead that took me months to figure out. I was too busy dealing with the stuff, trying to control the uncontrollable, swimming upstream. And it was one simple act that my Husband did that snapped me out of that mentality and brought it back to what really matters for me…
He started hanging photos on the wall.
Our photos, of us, our family.
Thats us, thats all that matters.
We are all still here, we are all safe, we are all healthy and we are still together.
Thats all that matters.
And while the winds of change can blow around us, I know what is important.