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I am blessed, I am grateful & I choose love

Tuesday, March 17th 2009 @ 12:26 PM (1 ratings)    post viewed 1517 times

It's likely many of you will have seen this picture before. It has raced around the World and become a unique example of 'helping out another in need' from the recent Victorian Bushfires.

Over the last few weeks I've been given both the honour and priveledge to work directly with people and Businesses affected by these tragic fires, and it is from these people I draw for this Newsletter.

My connection started on the first night when my partner (Liz) was called out in her capacity as a Red Cross Emergency Response Volunteer to the Healesville Rescue Centre. Fortunately (for me) I made the decision to go with her and help out on an all night shift.

We heard many stories of tragedy; of homes, friends and whole towns being lost during that night but were totally inspired by one common thing - every single person, no matter how tired, no matter the depth of their loss ALL showed gratitude for what they still had rather than being immersed in what they had lost.

I specifically remember a lady with 5 children (2 asleep in the hall and another 3 asleep in her car) counting her blessings despite the fact her husband was out fighting the fires and yet another who jokingly spoke about the 'clean out' he was going to do around his house that's now not necessary because everything had gone in the fire.

My heart was gladdened to witness first hand how those with severe troubles of their own lent a helping hand to others in need - maybe a simple hug, a friendly ear, playing with kids or getting a tea or coffee - but mostly, a willingness to put others ahead of their own woes.

Since that night we've all seen the outpouring of humanity through donations of clothing, money and support by so many. We've seen the coming together of political foes, varying religions and people from all walks of life, that previously passed each other like ships in the night, who have shown their ability to put aside their differences and stand together to help those in most need.

How amazing our World could be if we carry this on rather than reverting back to traditional ideologies or fear based responses.

Over these weeks I have been involved with many small businesses destroyed or severely impacted by these fires either directly because they have burnt OR through loss of trade because their towns had been closed - some by road blocks, others because of the ongoing danger around them and people who would normally have visited those areas rightly 'staying away'.

Many of these latter businesses have lost 70% of their trade for 4 consecutive weeks and some of these may not recover. Most have no insurances to cover 'loss of trade' and there are no Government Grants to help them through. Yet again and again, I have witnessed the strength of their spirits in choosing to fight on and to overcome these issues and to concentrate on their futures instead of getting bogged down with their issues.

I am writing about my observations with the belief we can all be inspired by their courage and strength. Not only are these brave individuals fighting with our current financial slowdown, they have this huge additional burden to carry that most of us don't.

When I look back and see how I have allowed myself to get caught up in issues, taken my eyes off the future or getting stuck in a downward spiral of self fulfilling prophecies of doom and gloom, my behaviour now seems so petty and self indulgent. We ALL have issues to deal with. We ALL have obstacles to overcome and instead of allowing myself to be beaten by my own self talk I choose to call on my inner strength and make a stand like these inspiring 'fire heros'.

I have also re-affirmed my decision since meeting these wonderful people - to be TRULY grateful for what I have. I know from seeing the devestation of these fires first hand, how easily everything can be taken away.

As I said earlier, I am truly honoured to be part of this process - these people have given me, and hopefully you, a lesson in courage, values and humanity that I am eternally grateful for.

Last weekend Liz and I met Dr Darren Weismann (founder of Infinite Love & Gratitude) and a talented musician- Shawn Gallaway who sang his inspirational composition "I choose love".

Hear this truly inspirational piece below;




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