One of the biggest Lessons from Hurricanes Long Since Passed, is how to ask for help, as a grown up.
In my culture, I was taught as a person growing up, that I was to become an independent, self-sufficient adult. And I did this: I went to college, I got an entry-level job in my field when I graduated, I paid off my college loans. I moved up through hard work and strategic promotions, year after year. My life was stable and predictable, and I didn’t need too much help, too often. Ocassionally, I needed help moving from one place to another, and rounded up friends, treating them to pizza and beer afterwards. My friends asked me to help them, and I reciprocated.
All that changed on August 13, 2004, when the WINDS from Hurrucane Charley tore the porch roof off my house and rolled it over the roof of the house, and tossed it in the front yard. The RAINS, driven by hurricane -force winds, poured through the gash in my roof, over my kitchen appliances, and flooded my entire house.
For a few days, I tried to take care of this problem –this disaster– all by myself, because, I Am A Grownup!
One day, some friends of mine from work came over to help me put up a tarp. These two grown men got on the roof with a ladder and I handed them a roll of visquine plastic I’d obtained in a frenzy, and they yelled down, “You need Help with this!” Up until then, it did not ocurr to me that I couldn’t solve this problem on my own.
I didn’t even know who to ask for help at that point, but the answers came in a confluence of coordinated helpers: my fire department, the Red Cross, my insurance company, a “dry out specialist,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), a home restoration contractor, and their honestly good guys, and two families from my church, who housed my family for the next two months.
So, along with the lessons of the elements, Honorable Shamans and Fellow Pagans, the lessons of Wind and Rain and flooding, came this lesson which I am still absorbing and appreciating, 13 years later.
Be kind to yourself. Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes, you may not realize that what you are going through is in fact, bigger than you can handle alone, or by your self. That it is, in fact, a disaster. When in doubt, ask for help It’s a grown-up thing to do.
Now, review your Hurricane Plans, monitor the weather, and understand, there is so much help out there for you.
Share your peace with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the Big Waters all around us.
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