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“There is nothing safe about this life”

It appears that the world has turned a little crazy; it is frightening to turn on the radio or TV as we brace ourselves for more bad news. As we continue to think of the people of Christchurch and now Japan I want us to remember the tragedies that may go undetected.

While attending a conference in Auckland last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Sue Bradley remind us of the tragedy of poverty and what this means for the children in NZ let alone in other parts of the world. She is right of course, catastrophic events grab our attention, but actually every day there are smaller catastrophic events that go under our radar.

I know that the families that gain support from True Colours are already mindful of this as they attend to whatever is happening in their lives. Neil Finn has as one of his lyrics, “I could go at any time; there is nothing safe about this life”. The devastation occurring within the world has certainly brought this to our attention.

When we live with complexity it is easy to lose sight of ourselves. We become cautious and uncertain, easily feeling confused. It is particularly so when the world around us feels chaotic and we sense our own helplessness and powerlessness.

Finding balance within these places is the key to maintaining our sustainability and resiliency. Rollo May said, “in human beings, courage is necessary to make being and becoming possible” (cited in Kidd, 1990). Our own beliefs, values and life experiences are challenged time and again. The cutting edge of realness, truth telling and honesty, in the place where there is no room for dishonesty, allows for us to find our fundamental principles of what is important to us as humans responding to each other in times of vulnerability and fragility. If we allow it the helplessness and powerlessness can open us to a place of softness within our core being, and there is learning that comes from within that place. There is an opportunity to know ourselves in a deeper way as we gain insight into what is truly important to us.

Our families have their own culture, history, traditions and values, and our own styles of communication. We have stories shaped over the generations, where dominant beliefs and practices become taken for granted. Events and incidents become the stories that shape our lives. The sharing of these stories is a rich component of communication between each other. The power of this communication underpins all relationships and has the ability to strengthen these associations into strong connections.

It is the quality of our relationships with others in times of chaos or crisis that strengthens the tenuous connections in life, whether that is within our family circle or the world around us. This has been apparent as we watch the humanness of individuals caring for each other in times of catastrophic events.

The paradox of the human spirit is that I am not fully myself till I am recognised in my uniqueness by another… (Richard Hycner, 1995).

Let us stand strong with the vision of hope and be there for one another whether that is emotionally, spiritually or physically, developing our resiliency and courage.


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