Old time muskets when fired, produced a cloud of white/grey smoke from the gunpowder that charged the ‘bullet’. From this we get two sayings still extant in the English language. One saying comes from when the gunpowder flashed but did not discharge the needed power, so when the hammer hit the pan nothing happened. Hence when something/someone seems to shine brightly for a short while then disappears into obscurity we say that he/she or it ‘is a flash in the pan’.
Secondly, when some or many muskets were fired simultaneously they produced a great cloud of smoke. So much so that it was hard to see. This ‘fog of war’ made it very difficult to know what was going on.
Life can sometimes seem like the fog of war has descended and that one’s good days and successes are but a flash in the pan. But this thinking, however understandable it may be, is an error. We often fail to wait until the next breeze clears the fog from before our eyes. Instead panicking and thinking that we are again falling into the abyss of illness and despair.
Indeed this is a symptom of anxious and fearful thinking. That the mind will go towards the worst case scenario in order to protect itself from any sudden shock. This red herring then beguiles us into thinking that struggle is the best way forward. In turn this creates more anxiety as we go into survival mode and start to shut down. This ‘fog of war’ we all know.
But there is another way. Fear need not be destructive or ‘negative’. In fear we are asked some serious and meaningful existential questions about who we are and what we are doing. We are asked to let go a little bit more and see what happens. If we do not answer this prompt in the affirmative then we stagnate in the here and now. We, who have know the deepest fears over the longest time, know that we cannot stay still in the fear itself. I do not mean keep running, both on physical and spiritual levels. I mean accepting that we, I, must, let more of myself go; into love.
It seems such a simple choice to make and yet I know as well as you that at times this realisation seems almost impossible. Better the devil we know! But this cannot be so anymore. Any people who have suffered as we have must accept that we change or stay the same. A person who stays the same gets what they got. Simple logic. Let us all do our suffering justice. Do not have suffered for nothing. Realise that the ‘fog of war’ is but a temporary occurrence and that the wind of the spirit will disperse it before our very eyes. The successes that we have are real and worthy and no mere ‘flash in the pan’. These successes build up in a cumulative fashion and it doesn’t matter if they seem far apart in time and space.
Hope this finds you well my friends.