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Looking for an Earthquake

By Marlene Buffa

Last week while raking up the winter leaves in my yard, I thought of how confidently we go through life assured that the dirt beneath our feet provides us with a steady foundation. We can scrape away the surface, clean up debris, yet Mother Earth remains solid - something we depend on. Then, I thought of that carnival ride, which when spun around creates centrifugal force, and then the floor drops out beneath the riders. As children we boarded the ride knowing the bottom falls out, but not sure of when. We're certain we're going to slide off the wall and into the abyss of the whirling gears because we have not yet figured out that higher forces - invisible forces - play a larger role in life than we imagined.

Uncertainty: the fascinating aspect about the earth rattling uncontrollably beneath our feet. Unable to predict or prevent it, the earthquake remains one of the few inescapable geological phenomena. Unlike the weather which some meteorologists predict with moderate accuracy, the rumbling of the earth's tectonic plates remind us we cannot run or hide from, or alter its impact. Our options are to hold on and endure or step aside and get out of the way. In many ways, we experience love in the same manner. No matter how scientific, how diligent or persistent, our search for love resembles an odyssey for an earthquake from the invisible source.

The foundation
Each day, we plod through life on Mother Earth. Knowing the depths of the sea and the life beneath the surface exist, we take for granted our sure footing. We rely on the smoothness of life's paved roads as well as the malleable sand on the beach to carry us from one adventure to the next. When nature shakes us by surprise, our balance shifts and even for a moment, we transport our awareness from security to wondering if anything in life truly is formidable.

Like the solid ground beneath our feet, love provides the stabilizing force in our lives. Often taken for granted, the love between parents and children, the affection of spouses or even the endearment we feel toward friends, invisibly teeters on our acknowledgment to keep it in place. When love provides the sure-footing for the basis of our lives, we walk confidently. When the crevasse of uncertainty portends the delicacy of love, our walk grows more tentative.

The shake up
We often don't notice when things are out of sync for us, or deteriorating, as long as the status quo persists. Sometimes it takes something as raucous as the grumbling ground and toppling edifices to catch our attention. When we fix the fallen gutters or the long-ignored missing roof tiles, we wonder what took us so long - did it really take the earth moving to disengage our private inertia?

In relationships which grow translucent, we notice the vibrancy no longer there, yet remain precariously careful as to not discolor the blend of emotions within. When we look for the earthquake in a relationship, we ask Spirit to startle us into engaging again with our partner, or provide blatant clues for a budding one. Convinced we wouldn't recognize love if we ran into it, we silently douse our way down the path, hoping for a sure bubbling sign of love's flow. Conscious of your choice or not, you ask Spirit to provide an earth-shattering awakening or love's mirror to see it in yourself.

In truth, the shifting plates wield their power for only a few seconds or minutes, which seem like an eternity. Frozen in time, similar to watching ourselves fall in slow-motion, we endure the earthquake first by surprise, then uncertainty and then a hesitant disbelief when its over. Since the laws of nature rule, our desire to control the situation increases

Louise Hay teaches us that all relationships are temporary. Like the earthquake, we have no notion of the intensity or duration of our interaction with others. Some spiritualists suggest that relationships last just exactly as long as they are supposed to, and not a minute more. From unexpected beginnings to rocky endings, some of life's most poignant and meaningful lessons arise from the most challenging scenarios. Perhaps we learn the best when we struggle to keep our footing on the shaky ground of coexistence and pay attention.

We can no more look for love, than we can predict or seek out an earthquake. Both capable of rocking our world, we think chances are determined by location or an unknown faction. But the only place we need concern ourselves, lives within us. When we realize we create the quakes in our lives even though we deny it, we also manifest the intensity and duration of each relationship into which we engage. So, let love take you by surprise and be sure to look around you for evidence of the impact it makes on your life and those around you.

Taking a quiet sideways glance at life, Marlene Buffa offers insight through her words from experiences. A student of new-thought teachings, Marlene finds practical spirituality around every corner and seeks wisdom through observation of life's inter-relationships. Sometimes playful, sometimes poignant, always thought-provoking, her writing inspires readers in meaningful ways. You can visit her website at and write to her by email.

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