Swirl. It is a great word. It can be an adjective, a noun or a verb. Where I am from I usually associate “swirl” with this:
In all my time in tornado alley, I have not been hit by one. Make no mistake, I have gotten into the storm cellar/shelter/fraidy whole, plenty of times with strangers I do not know, cellars that are musty, spiders in every corner with everyone huddled around a battery operated weather radio, awaiting the next report on the most updated location of the”swirling cloud”. I have gotten into hall closets with lights flickering, throw up bucket in hand (thanks to pregnancy) on my hands and knees praying that the thing won’t hit my house or take my life. Sound dramatic? Yes. Because it is.
I knock on wood and do the sign of the cross in gratitude that I have been spared, but this is not the subject of this post. “Swirl” is. Have you ever been caught up in an emotional swirl? I am in the midst of one at the moment. I have several people in my life that are going through very difficult times, and behind all of these crisis is someone who won’t do the right thing or didn’t do the right thing.
I am quite sure that the end of the world is coming, that Armageddon is at hand, the full moon that is non-existent, is making people crazy and getting rid of constants. With the exception of a handful of close friends and family, I find myself cringing every time the phone rings with more news of chaos. I am nowhere near a storm shelter and in fact I feel as if I am in the open prairie. Run for your life.
Maybe perhaps we are really in the video of Thriller, where everyone turns into werewolves, zombies and ghosts that run up and down the streets causing havoc and showing their fangs. Chaos is a funny thing. It can be like a tornado, sucking up everything in sight, tossing and throwing everything precious in its wake to far away places that are unknown. But enough cryptic talk.
Emotional chaos in any form is draining. When people close to you are going through turmoil as a result of someone who fails to do the right thing, it is very hard not to get caught up in the same chaos. I am a solution person. I like to diagnose the problem and look for a cure or at least a treatment for what ails ya. And my frustration tonight is that I have to force myself to recognize I can’t help everyone, I can’t save everyone, I can’t make people make things ok and you can’t help others to the point of sacrificing yourself .
What do I mean? As I was telling one of my very close friends the other night as we enjoyed a run to the craft store followed by an evening of sushi (I have to mention we ended up with matching metal fingers), we have to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before putting them on others. There is a method to this madness. This is madness. You have to preserve the peace within yourself to continue doing God’s work, otherwise what good can you do when you yourself are a wreck? What peace, confidence, assurance, encouragement can you possibly offer when you yourself are not balanced and centered?
Just like the seasons, we each have our “swirl” moments. We are in the tornado. Maybe we created the tornado. Maybe we are watching the tornado. Maybe we feel a tornado coming. Whatever the case, always remember, do not get too close to the cloud of debris.