So, here’s a story. Sometime in the last decade, at the time of ___, I came home and there was a message in my home answering machine from my friend Tamara who have moved to Florida, not one before that. And I pressed the button and began to hear the message, and the message was “This is Tamara. I’m just going to tell you that I’m safe. Don’t worry about me. I’m safe.”
And Tamara had just recently, just a few weeks before that she’s been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she had a series of test and they had test to confirm if she have ovarian cancer, and they had to test which kind of chemotherapy she was going to have, and she was supposed to have started that week. So, I heard that much of the message “Don’t worry about me. I’m safe,” and I thought, “Oh! Praise be! They’ve gone over the test, and they discovered that she doesn’t have cancer, and she’s going to tell me that she’s safe, ‘Don’t worry about me.’”
And the message went on and said, “Don’t worry about me” even though her ___ is aiming right towards where I am in Florida. I have friends who lived some miles in land and they’ve called me in my houses, you know, ___, but they’ve called me and said that I can come and stay with them so I’m on my way there, and I’ll ___ the storm there so don’t call me, because I won’t be around and I’ll be in touch with you when this whole storm is over.
So, during the next several days, I watched the storm on TV. It has become a drama. You watch the storm approaching on the weather channel. And supposedly on the weather channel, because I like that the weather people stand out in the weather.
They don’t have to stand in the weather. They could report the weather from inside looking out, but it’s not drama so they have to stand out in the weather with the raincoats pulled up around here, ____ rain, ____ young women, and wind is whistling, tiles from the top of the roof flew down, and just barely missed her. And I’m thinking to myself, somewhere, this young woman’s weather is watching the weather drama.
So, I watched the weather channel all through the storm, and then Tamara called me when the storm is over. And, she told me “I’m back home.” I said, “How was it?” She said, “You know, it was amazing,” she said. “Several people who lived right around my friends joined them, and several other people who lived as I do near the coast have been invited, and they came.
And she said, the storm as we knew was all night long. She said, so, we all sat in the living room together in our pajamas and we heard the storm blowing outside, and we could hear the eye of the storm near us. It’s like freight train. It’s so noisy. And it was quite frightening.
And when we really got frightened, we sat, and we prayed. And we prayed for the people all around us, because we were sitting with each other and we were at least safe in that room at that time. We prayed for the people all around us in Florida. And all in the path of the hurricane. And, then, she said there’s a great stillness when the eye of the storm passed.
And then, it was over. So, I said, at that point, you know sweetheart, when I first… I’m happy you’re home. And when I first got your message, and you said, especially “I’m safe.” After that, ah! They’ve reviewed your test results and they found that actually don’t have cancer. So, “No, I have cancer,” she said.
“I have cancer, but it wasn’t what was up for me this weekend. It wasn’t what was up right then.” She said, “We were all together, we were keeping each other in company, we were all in the same jeopardy. The people around us were all in the same jeopardy. It felt better to pray for the people around us, and actually, I wasn’t worried too much about my cancer.
Praying for other people, and feeling connected to them, and hoping that we calm out seem more important.”
And it stated with me in that story, because I think that on so many ways I thought about the way in which connection, lessons once unburdened of pain and suffering. That Tamara told me so many times about how many times it was significant to her that they’re all sitting in the living room together in their pajamas, she said. Just like people in a party or a family. They were praying for the people around them in Florida, and connected to them that I was watching on TV.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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