Wednesday, June 8, 2016
I feel very good this morning. This is the first morning since the earthquake that I am waking up, drinking my coffee, and feeling that ease in my body that allows me to envision and imagine the routine and activities I want to be creating for myself.
This is in stark contrast to the things I have had to do that involve a survival mode mindset. It has been seven and a half weeks since the earthquake, and it feels like a long time since I have felt this sense of congruent and balanced flow in my body, an energy of possibilities and opportunities.
Thinking about the earthquake, I am wondering if I fully acknowledge the amount of upheaval it created in our lives. On one hand we survived, we were not seriously injured, and we maintained a living condition post-quake that included plenty of food, water, and reasonable shelter. These are all blessings and things I am extremely grateful for.
What is also true is that for several weeks I lived in a state of uncertainty. Routines, places, and friends that I was accustomed to suddenly changed or disappeared. Navigating these changes in a foreign country, not being competent to speak the language, and being dependent on others for transportation to move from one place to another all created within me a very real background of uncertainty, stress, and anxiety.
I think it can be easy to dismiss the upsets life presents us. I’m an optimistic and positive man and my first response to a bad situation is to minimize its negative impacts in my life through my words and actions. This has served me well to keep moving forward to achieve what I want. I would never had made it to Ecuador without this ability.
What doesn’t serve me well is to let remain unacknowledged or to deny the real shit storms I can find myself in and having to work through. Surviving a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and managing life through its aftermath is a big fucking endeavor. Just as the aftershocks continue, so even now after effects remain.
I am sitting at my desk and typing my thoughts. Across the street from me construction is going on for a new park. Today heavy equipment is on site, and a moment ago my desk started to vibrate. In that microsecond my heart rate increased, my breathing sped up, and my mind flashed Earthquake.
No, it’s not an earthquake, just a big truck moving dirt.
This earthquake has left a tattoo. It isn’t visible like those bold or colorful tats I see on people, but it is as ever marked and present. It’s part of me and I am choosing to give it a place of honor. It reminds me that I can do what needs to be done; I can be counted on and I can count on others; I can successfully manage my life regardless of events happening around me. I think that is an awesome tattoo.
And now, I am taking time to acknowledge this. I want to honor my body and my mind for doing what it needed to do in order to keep my life moving in a good way through that hugely traumatic event. I deserve this acknowledgement.
I hope those who were there that day have been able to do this as well. For the friends and family I know who were there, they never complained or stop doing what needed to be done to take care of themselves and others who needed help. Some are still in the middle of that aftermath continuing to help those affected. Everyone did their part in the midst of a horrendous situation.
In my estimation we are all incredibly strong people in heart and mind and ability. Our reward for surviving the earthquake is our tattoo. It serves to remind us who we are and what we are truly capable of doing.