Embracing Inner Storm Clouds
"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
- Victor Hugo
Just as there is day, there is night; nature has times of activity and times of stillness. Our internal rhythms can also echo this pattern. Some days are on a roll, things seem to be going in a way that feels positive. Every action or decision seemingly falls into place with the least effort. Everyone, from friends to strangers, just ‘get’ us. These are the warm days; the days of activity, positivity and productivity.
Then there come the days where everyone seems to misunderstand what we say. Everything feels a bit “off” or seems to fall apart despite the best effort. These are the cool days; the days of less activity, observation and reflection. The challenge is how to handle the times that don’t feel so good. Take comfort in the fact that nothing lasts forever, and to appreciate the highs, we need to move through the lows.
And then the clouds move in.
It is sometimes difficult not to get swallowed up in all the clouds rainy days bring. It is not the time to make major changes or decisions, despite an urge to do something to get away from the discomfort. The sooner we accept what is being brought to us, the sooner we can stop struggling, pushing against what doesn’t seem to be working.
Without labeling as good or bad, we can appreciate the quiet moments, the days of introspection, and not overlook the opportunity for reflection on where we are and where we want to be. It is with these quiet periods of less activity, that we can regain our grounding and strength to take on the sunny days, rested and with our inner compass intact.
I have learned over the years that the more I can honor the natural ebb and flow of life, the better my acceptance of the present moment – warm or cool. Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed by the demands of people, places and things around me, my own desire fulfill every role perfectly, that I lose myself. These are the times my inner compass is disoriented and parched, thirsting for calming droplets of wisdom and serenity to revive my soul.
This is when the rain comes.
Just as plants need a break from all of the growing activity the sun and heat bring, so do I need a respite from the activity of daily life and constant chatter. When I can pause and stop resisting what is right in front of me, I can surrender to the chaos, the sadness, the fear, and they no longer have so much power.
I let the rain fall, and it is oddly calming. It’s as if all those feelings were simply saying, “hear me, I’m real.” Once I can stop running, take a breath, acknowledge what is right in front of me, feelings and all, the storm inside is quieted, the rain clouds pass on, and once again, the sun comes out.