The severity of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan . . . is real. It is truly a disaster with physical, emotional, and mental consequences. It is also a disaster that calls up for people whatever conscious spiritual connections they have.
This is one example of the outer physical disasters that have been occurring in our world. Physically … Katrina; Chile; Haiti; Christchurch, New Zealand; the drought in China; landslides in Uganda; and now Japan. The snow and ice storms this past winter. The rains and floods that have come of the thawing. But there are other outer disasters, too. For example, the recession of 2008 and its aftereffects, worldwide.
What people don’t often account for . . . there are people all over our world who are experiencing inner earthquakes and tsunamis everyday. The walls of their defenses falling in response to some stress in their lives. Some outer stress like losing their jobs, their homes in foreclosure, struggling to feed their children and themselves; losing their spouse because they lashed out, acting out in response to their inner turmoil, abusing their spouse and children; being unable to keep a job because they experience fear all the time. Some inner stress like long repressed memories beginning to surface into their awareness, nightmares that open the floodgates for feelings they had and buried as tiny children, vicious cycles of thoughts and feelings that are beginning to spiral out of control within.
Both the outer disasters and the inner disasters are real. They are painful. They have painful consequences. We need to take both of them seriously and work to resolve them thoroughly. We would never consider just leaving the outer devastation and moving someplace else. We would never consider just putting a tent over a nuclear power plant and hoping that would solve the problem. We would never consider not offering the best help we could give to people who were experiencing the devastating effects of a physical disaster like a tsunami. Yet we give people with inner disasters pills (sometimes) and tell them to just manage and control the disasters within . . . but not resolve them.
Since we are all connected, maybe we need to wonder about the effect they have on each other . . . the outer on the inner, the inner on the outer and both on all of us. I wonder about that . . . all the time! I send prayers to all who are experiencing inner and outer disasters . . . all the time!
© Judith Barr, 2011