In the past few days the northeast of the United States has been pounded by intense weather patterns – referred to as a ‘super storm’. The damage is extensive and the cleaning up process will most likely continue for weeks, if not months!
However, is what has happened really a disaster? Or, does it offer an opportunity for change? It’s a well researched fact that individuals facing a health challenge respond better to treatment when there’s a positive and determined attitude to the healing process. So, I have to ask the question: ‘how does the psychology of positive thinking apply in situations such as natural disasters’?
It is all too easy to dwell on the extent of the damage that’s occurred and to take a defeatist or negative attitude to the whole situation. Yet, I don’t for a moment believe that the majority of individuals affected are feeling negative or angry. In such situations most individuals accept what has occurred and then do what needs to be done to rectify the damage that has occurred.
I believe that super storm Sandy is definitely a catalyst for creating tolerance, a sense of community and instituting forward planning. It is no coincidence that this event occurred a week before the presidential election and also at the beginning of the holiday season – Halloween seems to be the starting point of celebrations and social gatherings in the States.
So, how is it possible to take a positive outlook on the devastation that’s occurred? These are some of the points that I’ve considered, and I’m sure you’ll also have some to add! No list is ever exhaustive.
1. It shifts our focus to humanitarian issues relating to survival and basic needs/comforts.
2. It places the presidential race on a lower level in our consciousness (for many people anyway). We are afforded an opportunity to reassess our priorities.
3. Nature has an amazing cleansing action. I wonder how many negative and stagnant energies have been swept away?
4. Rebuilding efforts are likely to reduce the unemployment numbers in our communities.
5. Once again we have an opportunity to create community – as all catastrophes provide!
6. It shifts the focus from ‘me/I’ to ‘we’. A powerful reminder that we are all One.
7. We are reminded of our own powers, as this is an opportunity for prayer, meditation and sending healing.
And…… you add your insights to this list!
As a dear friend said many years ago, ‘You can choose to be happy or sad. It’s not possible to be both at the same time. You choose!’ That statement applies as much to daily affairs as it does to natural disasters.
November 1, 2012