My son, Chris, just returned from living in Za’atari, a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, making an unprecedented film about the lives of refugees, in order to raise awareness through creative storytelling of the real life experiences of displaced Syrians who have lost everything; perhaps those of you who are parents can relate to the mix of feelings I had about this!
In response to his first blog from Jordan, one of their followers named Jill responded as follows: “Might be a good time to pull out some of the stuff I'm trusting you packed for just this kind of deal. Things like your flexibility, your acceptance of whatever comes up, especially when you don't have a choice about it anyway, your reserves of inner peace and ability to roll when you need to roll, and your senses of humor. For sure, your senses of humor.
We all know that whatever you're going to have to tap into from your luggage and your internal reserves probably won't come anywhere in the same solar-system-close-to comparing with what the people you'll meet in the refugee camp have had to find within themselves, every single day, simply to survive.”
I couldn't agree more with Jill's comments and the importance of our inner resources, especially our ability to stay present and accepting of the twists and turns of our journey. It's not what happens to us that matters most, but how we respond to what happens to us. The most important gifts come from our heart, the gifts I call the "language of the soul" - connectivity, generosity, compassion, open-heartedness, acceptance, and trust, to name but a few. And that language is universal, even if it is so hard to access in times of crisis. The other quality Chris, Zack and Sean share with the refugees is courage - I am proud of them all and know that their big hearts will be open to everyone they meet, and that the hope and love they bring are the greatest gifts of all – yes, and their wicked senses of humor!
So I was reminded of when I was little and we used to play a game “I packed my bag and in it I put……” what inner resources would you would pack in your bag if you lost everything – or if you just chose to live a more present, simpler life?