When the Power Goes Out
There are many things over here in Afghanistan that, because of the nature of the environment, just are not very dependable or reliable. Internet connections, food quality at the dining facility, timely transportation anywhere, and speed of mail delivery are just a few of them. Last night, for example, the electrical power went out at 9 pm in the building that includes my room. The room resembles a metal cargo container with a floor and furniture inside and the insulation rating is definitely not up to normal US code. So when the temperature drops down to about 6 degrees, sleeping warmly becomes a challenge. On went the sweats and the stocking cap and I hunkered on down. The power came on and went off about 4 different times during the night and finally stayed on at about 8.30 am. In the last two weeks, the power consistently shut down between 5-6 am 5 out of 7 mornings and didn’t come back on until after I left my room at 8.30. This loss of power has definitely frustrated me and has elicited more than just a few choice words when I am wanting to connect to the internet, watch tv, and shower and shave before heading out to work. Ah, this is the life, I’ve learned to say to myself. I’m really not complaining too much. I know things could be a lot worse than it is and there are plenty of warriors and civilians that are out in harm’s way and don’t have the amenities that I have access to. I am indeed fortunate to have what I do.
Over the last couple of weeks, frequently losing electrical power has reminded me to look within myself at my connection with my own Source of power and to think about how I handle things when “my power” goes out. I believe in a Spiritual Source that exists within and around me and I usually call it “God” or “Spirit”. Over my lifetime, my personal experiences have taught me the value of being “plugged in” to my Source. When I am plugged in, I am more peaceful, grounded, and happy. I feel stronger physically and emotionally to handle things that life brings my way. Little and even some big things don’t affect me for very long. I am more thoughtful and considerate of others and look for opportunities to serve and help them. Conversely, when I am not plugged in to Spirit, I am stressed, anxious, and unhappy. I am quick to anger, to complain, and to judge others harshly. Little things become huge and impact my day or mood in a negative way. I become more self-centered and selfish and lose sight of what others need or want.
For most of us, it doesn’t take much to become unplugged from our Source or to feel like we have “lost power”. Life happens. It can happen in an instant with something that someone else says or does or it can feel like a slow, draining process, like a generator low on gas that sputters for several minutes before it finally dies from no fuel. It inevitably happens to all of us. No one is immune from experiencing life’s ups and downs. So…what to do?
Before we answer that question, here’s a key. God doesn’t unplug from us or flip the switch off. We are the ones that unplug from God or turn Spirit off. God doesn’t step away from us, we step away from God. Knowing and understanding that is important because then we can make the choice to do what we need to do to get plugged back in to Spirit, knowing it’s still right there waiting for us to do so. Here are some helpful ideas to consider in getting plugged back into your Source of power.
One, assess your connection to Source. Where is it right now on a scale between 1-10? Where is it usually on an average day? What does it feel like when you are plugged in? What does it feel like when you aren’t? Are you fulfilled by the state and strength of your current connection? What activities do you choose to plug-in and stay connected to power: meditation, uplifting reading or music, connecting with nature or pets, yoga, prayer? Whatever it has been in the past, you can decide to improve, increase, grow and expand your connection to Divine Source.
Two, become more attune to the level of your connection throughout the day. Become aware of when you feel the power or your connection to Spirit starting to sputter. What just happened? Are you giving the situation or another person your personal power or allowing them to determine your connection to Spirit and state of mind? You know by how you feel within when this is happening. Become sensitive to that shift when it happens.
Three, determine right then to plug back in and reconnect with your divine power Source. No matter what the situation is or what someone else has done, you own 100% responsibility for your reaction. Release the incident and focus on connecting to Spirit. Use your favorite technique to do so. I recommend affirmations, a silent prayer, or a 30 second meditation as quick ways to find your Source and step back into its Presence. As you feel the power returning and your connection growing, your mind clears, your focus returns, and new perspectives can now have an opportunity to transform the situation and move you in a different direction.
The good news is that our divine Source is always available, regardless of what is happening to us or with us. We are free to choose our level of constant connection and we certainly choose our reactions to that sudden loss of power. Becoming unplugged is part of life experience. How long we stay unplugged or how long the power stays out is 100% up to us. Our Source never moves. Get that power turned back on and get plugged back in as quick as you can. There are blessings awaiting for you when you do.