By Shannon Burns
There are a host of storms that come down on each of us during our lifetimes. Certain storms are much more severe than others, drenching and weighing us down to the point where we don’t know if we can rise up again. Many storms are unwelcome, and come at times when we are not ready nor prepared for them. Some storms loom over us for prolonged periods of time, interfering with our growth and our journeys; keeping us stuck in one place and unable to move forward. Others can wash away at the end of the day, and we can wake up to sun in the morning as if nothing had happened. Storms come in different forms, and in varying degrees of severity and intensity. And storms are all dealt with in diverse ways. In terms of the latter idea, there is a quote by Vivian Greene that my dad found when my family visited Ireland and that I think should always be kept in mind: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Life is about the choices that we make. We make choices every day; certain choices are small, and others are more meaningful and life-changing. And one of the choices that we have is how we deal with the storms that emerge in our lives; the struggles and hardships that we face. We can shrink in the darkness, become overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness, and let the storm take over and seize us. Or we can choose to search for and hold on to that glimmer of light that we faintly see miles away; we can choose to hope for and believe in a better tomorrow. In difficult and trying situations, there is no question that it is hard to change your mindset, and look through an optimistic lens. But it is possible, and can get you through the worst of times.
An excerpt from my grandpa’s favorite prayer is: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” My grandpa lived by this prayer. He had an undeniable and admirable strength and perseverance that kept him going through incredibly challenging times. There are a lot of things in this life that we cannot change or control. And that is okay; we are not supposed to be able to control everything. We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can decide how we see what happens to us, and how we view our hardships. We can decide what we do in the face of our struggles, and how we choose to approach and deal with them. Everything happens to us for a reason. And there is always something that we can take from difficult situations that will help guide us as we move forward in our lives; we can learn and grow from these hardships. And we can get past them.
We all can control how we see the world, how we see ourselves, and how we see the situations that are laid in front of us. We have the ability to dance in the rain; to not sit around waiting for things to maybe get better, but to make things better.