There are truly no words to describe the devastation and heartache we’ve experienced here in Houston (and all over South Texas) in the past few days in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
I am a native Houstonian, and have lived in Houston my whole life. Needless to say—no hurricane or tropical storm ever came close to the ravages of Harvey.
For my family, friends, and clients here in Houston, I hope you and your family have weathered this storm safely and with minimal disruption, and I want you to know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers.
Natural disasters like Harvey share many similarities with the discovery of betrayal. You feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under you, and you know that your life won’t be quite the same again. You may lose hope, give up, or feel abandoned by God.
And at the same time, natural disasters—and even betrayal—offer the possibility of seeing your life in a new way, tapping into a strength you didn’t know you had, or discovering an opportunity you may have overlooked—or didn’t allow yourself to see—before.
At times like these we’re invited to find the blessing in the storm.
As I look over the past four days, I find that I have gratitude for many things that before last Friday I simply didn’t think about:
Today, here are just a few things I’m grateful for:
- The sky is clear, and life in Houston for many is beginning to return to some semblance of “normal”
- The countless unseen and unknown good samaritans who have literally risked their lives to save complete strangers all across South Texas
- Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner—with a long history of public service—is completely prepared to manage this crisis
- Grocery stores are open, with food and supplies on the shelves
- Houston’s new Police Chief Art Acevedo, for his courage to publicly grieve the loss of Officer Steve Perez
- The street where I live is, once again, passable
- Family and friends are safe
My wish is that we learn to use crises to expand our capacity for gratitude, compassion, and kindness and to not waste any more time on regret, shame, unworthiness, procrastination, or anything else that holds us back from creating the life we dream of.
May all beings live in safety, peace, and comfort.
I don’t believe we’re only motivated by our own self-interests. Often out of crisis comes this enormous wellspring of generosity and motivation.
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© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2017)
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