July 18, 2011
I’ve had a few disasters over the past six years. Each time, I’ve been given the opportunity to enjoy the generosity of my friends. Each time, my circle of friends expands.
People that were on the outskirts of my life become more important. They become more involved in my life. Then there are people that I didn’t even know who come by with something I need. They now become the people on the outskirts of my life. Sometimes these unknown people even become fast friends, stepping into the inner circle of my life.
Some of the people that were close to me become more distant. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they cannot be so close to someone experiencing a painful disaster. Perhaps I placed too much importance on my relationship with them. Perhaps they are experiencing their own disaster and need help that I cannot give.
Complete strangers offer their help in ways that my friends cannot. My friends offer help in ways that I never thought possible. One really gets to know one’s friends when a disaster strikes. Many people make sacrifices in order to help me. I feel loved, blessed, honoured, and treasured.
As the disaster recedes into the history of my life, my life goes back to being “normal.” Yet it is a different normal. People have shifted in my life. My emotions towards people have shifted. That can be quite a challenge as sometimes I move someone special away from me. The closer I am to a person, the more likely my expectations of them are great. And sometimes my expectations of their behavior are just too high for them to meet.
A disaster helps me to clarify relationships and the role people play in my life. A disaster helps me to examine my expectations of others and myself. A disaster helps to keep me humble. At the same time, a disaster helps me to expand beyond any boundaries I have had around myself. Most importantly, a disaster helps me to examine the boundaries and expectations I have placed around other people, strangers and friends alike.