The sun never stops shining behind the storm clouds. Although this is a scientifically proven fact, it is also the first thing people choose to forget when Mother Nature unleashes its fury. Quite similarly, whenever we are caught into a life storm, we get easily swept into the whirlwinds of fear and doubt, and forget about the cyclical nature of all things. We survive through the birth and death of loved ones, disease and marriage crisis, parental challenges and job uncertainties, but we seldom take the time to observe that each event quickly explodes and saturates our lives with uninvited misery only for a limited time, before it naturally runs out of steam and comes to an end.
If we were able to see the bigger picture beyond the blinding patina of drama, we would see life storms for what they truly are: the necessary eradication of the old and the nurturing of the new. We blame unpleasant occurrences on an unkind destiny, and rarely acknowledge that the storms we ride are necessary portals we must step through, if we ever hope to reach the finish line and achieve what our hearts desire. A person stuck in the stagnant waters of an unsatisfactory relationship may have to face the storm of a breakup, before he or she can focus on seeing the sparkling light of a new, more fulfilling love affair. If parents wish for their children to become more responsible and realistic, their own lives may be temporarily unsettled by the mistakes the children will have to make, as they learn a sobering lesson which will gift them with greater wisdom and an increased sense of reality. We might feel stranded for a little while, but life continues to move and thrive.
Most life storms bring along winds of change, but even if we eternally wish for positive alterations in our lives, deep down everyone is afraid of shaking things up. We unrealistically expect to reach the desired destination without going on the trip.
Just as weather storms are visible on radars and to the naked eye, most life storms are also easy to detect before they approach, and allow us time to make the necessary preparations. In a few cases when situations explode without warning, we need to be aware that even those events will often lead to unexpected benefits in their aftermath.
Whether we go through a summer storm, a sudden tornado, or even a hurricane, all that will ever be destroyed is the manmade illusion of material stability. What truly matters remains untouched, and sometimes even enriched. Storms might destroy homes but they never destroy the land the homes are built on. To the contrary, the land is rejuvenated by the process, and it is strengthened in the long run – old, half-dead trees no longer absorb vital nutrients, and more nutrients are poured into the ground to feed new growth as the old dies and breaks down.
We can’t expect that life will pass uneventfully, as much as we can’t expect that sunshine will last forever – obstacles and storms create a contrast and allow us to appreciate peaceful days and warm weather. Without obstacles on our path, we easily fall into complacency, and take blessings for granted. I think I never considered this point until I pinched a nerve in my back one day – at that moment, I would have done anything to take away the pain, and thought about all the times when I am in no pain and don’t even give my good fortune the benefit of a second thought.
The next time dark clouds loom ominously on the horizon, we can remember that this new storm, like all others before, will pass, the clouds will dissipate, and the sun will shine brightly again. And, maybe for the first time in our life, we’ll notice a beautiful rainbow, painted with the colors of new and unforeseen opportunities.