Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a storm … one that perhaps you felt brewing, saw coming, and heard all the warnings for? Or maybe one that seemed to come out of nowhere and suddenly you can’t see in front of you, you can’t hear anything but the beating sound of the downpour, and you’re not sure what to feel? You might even have found yourself praying for guidance on weathering the storm with grace and love and surviving to live the next day.
I have definitely found myself here more than once.
I sat on my porch this morning drinking coffee and relaxing, looking aimlessly at the plants in my less than perfect garden, when I noticed the raindrops from the recent storm had settled peacefully on the petals of the flowers. All of the colors were brighter somehow, and filled with water droplets on every possible surface. I was particularly drawn to the red tiger lilies because they are my favorite, and I thought about how beautiful they looked. Each raindrop was perfectly balanced, reflective, and … comfortable. I thought about how different the plants look after the rainfall. Stronger. More brilliant. Taller. Almost … prouder.
When it rains, some people look at it as a dark time, a gloomy time, a scary time, or a “bad day.” We teach children to sing songs about wanting the rain to go away and come again another day. The rain often gets a bad rap for doing nothing more than what it is intended to do.
The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.
– Henry Longfellow
But some people, and I have learned to do this over the years, look at a rainy day as a beautiful thing … something that nature needs. The calmness of the sound of the rain falling … knowing that after this moment passes, things will grow, the sun will shine, flowers will blossom, and things will become bigger, brighter, and even more beautiful. And the stormy times don’t have to be scary times. I began to think about how life is the same way. When negative things happen, when we make bad choices, when negative people are in our path or we are simply up against something that challenges our spirit, things can feel disruptive and/or stormy, and it can be difficult to navigate during those kinds of storms. But we can think of them as necessary, just like the rain is necessary for Mother Earth. Things would not grow without the sun, that is true, but they also would not grow without the rain. It is a balance. And so it is with the path that each of us is on.
Some people say that a negative thing happening is like a reminder to us, a lesson, which will repeat itself over and over until we “get it.” Sometimes there is a person or situation in our life which can indeed feel like a lesson or perhaps the test. But instead of looking at it as only that, or a reminder of our own pain, or our own struggle, perhaps it is also a reminder for any of the others involved. Perhaps these are opportunities for not only ourselves, and our own growth, but for others to make the right choices, perhaps these are even their moments: for them to choose right or wrong, good or bad, love or hate. Because after all, life is not just about our journey and us. It is also about everyone else and their journey too.
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
– Louisa May Alcott
When we find ourselves in the middle of a difficult situation, instead of thinking about how hard it is to manage, we can think about what the situation is teaching us, and how it is affecting anyone else involved as well. What can we learn from this situation? Can we help anyone through it? It is not about blame, on anyone else or ourselves. It isn’t about judgment or righteousness. What choices can we make, in the very moment, and from this day forward? Love is greater than fear. How can we become better people, more loving, and make decisions based on real love, because of this situation we are facing?
We can look for the beauty. We can smile at adversity. We can focus on the light. We all know that after every dark night comes a new day. We know that after every rain, the sun will eventually shine.
In our most challenging moments, we can rise above.
We can grow.
We can become even more beautiful.
We can weather any storm …
“Love is nourishment in itself.” -OSHO
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