There was a story I heard some years ago about Australia*, and drought. In that there had been this stretch of years of quite severe drought. Things were tough, many faced hardship, and it just went on, and on, and on. Until they found an interesting way to end the drought: they introduced legislation that said it was not a drought.
Which, admittedly, at first sounds like the ultimate in shenanigans: It’s a drought, it’s physical, you can’t just paper law it away! But once you let it sink in, you get that what they were saying was simply this: “This is not a drought. This is [the new] NORMAL.” They weren’t tying to legislate the physical universe. They were recreating their relationship with said universe. They were being present and reforming their realities: “We have been operating under a fantasy, that there is, and should be, more water available to us. But that is not so. This is what there is. Let us now act accordingly.”
And boom, from then on, rather than creating systems, building things, and living life as one might in a water rich place, and then trying desperately to do with less and suffering all the way, they instead could design, create, build, and live in ways that handled, managed, and used the water that was there in reality to its fullest. They could treat water with the respect it needed.**
We can do the same thing in our lives. We may have feelings, upsets, barriers, insecurities, and places where we experience failure that keep showing up, causing hindrance and hardship. And we keep thinking – hoping – that one day it or they will end. Because that’s how it should be. ***
Yet, there it is, remaining, as persistent as that drought. And so we can declare for ourselves The [New] Normal, giving us a baseline from which we can stop resisting. We can let what is be, and in so doing gain freedom. We stop being controlled by it and instead gain the space to say “Ok, here’s what’s so. What’s possible? What’s next?”
From that new frame and with peace of mind we begin our new path, leading us to greener pastures and worlds of abundance.
* To which I will be upfront and state that I cannot be sure I’m remembering it right or the interpretation I heard about it was right… and reading the Australian Department of Agriculture’s webpage on drought policy is not entirely helping me determine if it is accurate or not. The action that took place in 2008 during the National Review of Drought Policy could be it: “The review found that drought conditions in Australia were likely to occur more often and be more severe. It also recommended that drought assistance programs be restructured to help farmers prepare for drought rather than waiting until they are in crisis to offer assistance.” That said, whatever the specifics are what I took from the story (as expounded above) is still entirely relevant, and powerful as an entryway to and for transformation.
** And I would say deserved.
*** And it’s not to say those areas can’t be transformed; they most certainly can be. But sometimes the very attachment we have to it not being there is what gets in the way of us transforming it and allowing it to disappear.