In 2002 a terrible civil war of ten years ended in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, and the subsequent emotional healing has been difficult for the millions who live there. This is the country where the term "blood diamonds" originated, as well as the origin of the many news photos we all saw of children whose arms were cut off by bands of rebels. At the invitation of a coalition of churches, civic organizations, international relief groups, and universities, I was invited to spend two weeks in Sierra Leone. They asked me to meet the President of the country, speak to the national Parliament, and assist in implementing the nationwide theme of Healing with Unconditional Love in individual lives, marriages, parenting, tribal conflicts, business, and more.
While I was on my way to the airport yesterday, I received a notification from the committee sponsoring the trip that irreconcilable conflicts had developed between some of the tribal and religious factions in the country, who threatened to withdraw their needed support if their demands were not met about controlling certain aspects of the planned seminars. The trip was therefore cancelled.
We had been planning this event for nearly eighteen months. I had written ten seminars and PowerPoint presentations. The travel plans were extensive, including visas, immunizations, malaria prevention, flight arrangements, and more. Considerable sacrifices had been made in time, energy, money, and other resources. And yet it all aborted on the way to the airport.
What to do? Relax, understand, and be grateful. Sure, there was a moment of disappointment--how could there not be?--but if we offer a gift unconditionally, we cannot be attached to the outcome. No matter what other people do, we can still benefit from the simple choice to love them.
I'm grateful for the moments of inspiration I enjoyed during all the preparation, for the support of many kind friends, and for the opportunities to interact with and learn about people of another culture. The joy of life really is found in the moment, not in any particular anticipated destination.
Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.
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