No doubt you will have heard on the news about the terrible wildfires that are currently raging all over the world, including in my home country Greece. It is a disaster which is often hard to comprehend in areas where the ecosystem is less ‘flammable’.
Within days, often hours, whole areas are destroyed. Animals and trees are wiped out, and people’s properties, which whole generations have often worked hard to build over decades, literally go up in flames.
People who suffer such catastrophic loses often show a remarkable resilience in the big scheme of things. Their view of the events is often philosophical, and they remind themselves that as long as they (and their friends and relatives) are alive and in good health, they can always re-start and rebuild their material wealth.
What can we learn from this resilience? I recently asked the members of my Facebook group ‘If you were to lose everything in a fire, what personal quality would help you regain all that you need?’ Some of their answers were:
- Acceptance that things are the way they are meant to be; if all is gone, it means I don’t need it any more and I am free to start afresh
- My personal resilience
- It would probably be a good riddance, as I have too much stuff anyway
As a kid, one of my most vivid memories from Greece is a quote my mum had put on the bathroom door. It read a bit like this (my own translation from Greek): ‘If you love something, set it free. If it returns, then it’s yours. if it doesn’t, then it was never yours in the first place’.
What are the attitudes, beliefs and habits you need to set free in your life right now?