We went camping this week and it was wonderful! It was a great analogy for life. We are all faced with ‘internal’ storms everyday. We can decide if we want to be happy and look for the positive or focus on the negative and be unhappy. We knew the storm was coming and we were tent camping. We decided to enjoy the overcast day at the beach. We appreciated not being fried like an egg; silver lining to the clouds. We slept well because the rain all night kept the tent cool; silver lining to the sticky heat of previous nights. We did cut our stay by one day; silver lining the children were home in time to participate in a video.
We decided to have fun packing up the tent in the rain; silver lining the children happily played in the rain while we packed. The rain was cleansing for everyone. We had the calmest car ride home of any road trip we’ve ever had without one single disagreement for 2 hours. A great gift indeed!
Storms from a planetary perspective are healthy. They cleanse, they churn, they wash the earth. Storms from a human perspective can have devastating effects. Property damage, financial loss, stress and even death can result. Of course we feel sad when there are real consequences. However, what pulls people through is the support of the community. Storms make way for greatness. They allow the greatness of others’ kindness to shine through. They allow for our own greatness to shine through. They allow us to reevaluate our lives and determine what is more important. We can pull together.
Storms are a disruptive change in our patterns. Any change in patterns can expand our possibilities. We can allow the experience to expand our minds and stretch our human powers to new limits.
Storms do not create character. Storms reveal character.
We can apply this to our every day life. When real loss comes our way we can let it define and shape us into a better version of ourselves. We can focus on the appreciation we have for those loved ones who show up and help us. We can embrace the trauma as a way to grow as a person. Any trauma can help us be more empathetic. We gain experience in major life events. Experience leads to greater understanding if we allow it.
That painful divorce, those legal troubles, the financial pressure, the job loss, the health scare; these can all be opportunities for us to radically change our path in life. We can transform into an elevated version of ourself. The process will be sad. We will suffer. The amount of time we suffer, the intensity of our pain, the long term effects of this experience are all things we do have the power to modulate. We can choose to relax into the process.
What does relax into the process mean? It simply means we conserve our energy. Instead of using up energy fighting, wishing for something different, regret, guilt, anger, bitterness, worry and even hatred, we can focus on healing, grieving, processing, accepting and understanding. What person would you be today if you focused all your energy on accepting what is, forgiving what is not, letting go of demands and entitlements, embracing change, focusing on looking for the silver lining and then really appreciating it?
What would life look like if we just imagined that ALL life’s events were chosen for our own personal growth? What would life look like if we just accepted the storms will come? We can prepare for them, but in the end we are powerless over their arrival and their consequences. Now what if we applied this same idea to every single event in our life from the flat tire, to the lost keys, to the missing shoe, to the missed appointment, to the hard part of our job?
Would we be more peaceful? Would we be more relaxed? Would the lowered stress level be good for our health? Would we experience more joy? Would we begin to see life and others in it in a different way?