I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time these days feeling like I am in a hurricane, tossed about without any form of control or anything to grab onto. The energies of the universe, from the divisiveness of humanity to the destruction of our natural resources, and my aging body, have created a vortex that keeps spinning seemingly out of control.

Now mind you, I don’t spend every day in this vortex. At times, I place myself in the eye of the hurricane where it is calm and safe, as I learned from a meditation I found. I remind myself that perception and awareness are the ways through. But that is hard to do and I’m not always successful at it.

Then I encounter something or someone that shakes me to my core and brings up all the insecurities and the Matrix-type realities that I am trying to overcome. I was at the grocery store and the gentleman who bagged my groceries was a distinguished-looking elder, probably in his late 70s, with a hunched-over back and a piercing gaze. I thanked him and wished him a great day, and when I left the store, I burst into tears. I felt something in his gaze that was visceral; like someone squeezed my heart. As if to say, “this is not how I wish to spend my twilight years”.

Now that could be just my perception. He could very well have retired and got bored and wanted to get a job. Or maybe he was forced to get a job in this cruel economy that has robbed many people of their savings where their income does not provide enough security.

Maybe in him, I saw myself in a few years and that scared me. Maybe he represented the many patients I had when I was a care manager who struggled in their later years. Definitely it brought up the frustration about a culture that does not respect their elders enough to make sure they are cared for in a rough economic terrain.

After a good cry, I realized it is up to me to stay in anxiety and dread, or to change my perspective over and over again, until I can stay longer in the eye of the hurricane less time being swirled around like Dorothy’s Home in Wizard of Oz!

I know many people who can keep a positive perspective, no matter what life throws at them. After all, we really have no control over a lot of stuff, except how we choose to look at them, and how we choose to create a meaningful life. The key is to keep trying.

I also realized that I am grieving the many losses I have endured, and this particular encounter brought many of them up to the surface. Grief can grab you by the throat unexpectedly. The trick is to give it its audience and let it pass by until it visits again.

What if we could all change our perspectives? What would the world look like then?