Some days, it seems as if the “rising-waters-of-life” are too much, and there’s nothing we can do.  I remember one such time well: my place of employment was vandalized – again.  This time, they pushed a hose through the window of the bathroom in my office, turned on the faucet and disappeared.  As the water poured into my office, I could feel the stress rising within me.

That experience has become an apt image for me over the years of those “rising-waters-of-life” times when exterior circumstances are such that I feel flooded-with-stress.  What about you?  Can you relate to an experience in the past?  What about now?  Are the personal ‘waters of your life’ rising?  Are personal stressors of health, finances, relationships, pummelling your emotional inner shores?  Is anger, depression, ennui, exhaustion, worry about your future, further pounding your emotions?

Distress robs us of living life to the fullest.  Distress denies us the opportunity to be whole in body, mind and spirit.  If we were honest, we would admit that some personal distress waters can be avoided if we paid attention to our bodies, minds and souls in particular ways like caring for our bodies: driving carefully, eating sensibly, getting adequate amounts of rest, having regular dentist and doctor check-ups, following doctor’s advice, not worrying while waiting for results of medical tests; exercising our minds: reading books, listening to various kinds of music, playing an instrument, developing a hobby, learning a new language; nourishing our souls: savouring the beauty of the world around us; being humbled by the awareness of the gift of our life; being appreciative of, and thankful for, the blessings around us, sitting still and be-ing.

What about the corporate distress waters that are rising quickly these days –  global stressors of politics, terrorism, lack of access to clean water, fresh air, food, housing, medical/dental care?  Are these  flooding your thoughts and bringing about sleepless nights? Some would say that little can be done about those types of distress.  But, perhaps, there is something that can be done, like … exercise our right to vote at each election (municipal, provincial/state and national/federal) and cast our ballot for the candidates we think will make a positive difference in the environment, legal system, health care, educational system, security etc. … become involved in our communities and volunteer our time to those organizations which work so faithfully at inculcating morals and values; work with and care for our youth, the elderly, the unemployed, the single parent families, the abused, the victimized, the homeless, the hungry, the mentally ill, the addicted, etc. … pray that the evil in our world doesn’t overwhelm us, infiltrate the hearts and minds of our youth, contaminate politicians, corporations and institutions any further; pray that goodness will reign; hope will be experienced; inner joy will permeate each woman, child, man, youth; wisdom will be respected; and peace, not conflict or war will be the mandate of all governments and societies.

Will we allow such circumstances continue to negatively affect our lives and be known as “the rising-waters-of-our-life” or will we find ways to help ourselves so that we rise above those rising waters, and not only survive, but thrive?

Whether large or small, big or little, dramatic or ordinary responses/changes, personal or corporate distress, there IS something we can do to reduce the impact in our daily living of the rising-waters-of-life.

Photo & Text © June Maffin