Enduring the Storm
Sitting on my couch last week, I watched out my front window as a nasty storm ensued. Those of you that live in the area know the exact morning I am talking about – my phone was buzzing with severe weather alerts and notifications of a tornado watch in the area. A sense of inconvenience and anxiety washed over me as my plans for that morning were interrupted.
The power went out a couple of times preventing me from accomplishing any sort of productivity that I had planned. And as many of you can relate, my sense of freedom these days – the outdoors – was clearly not an option with pouring rain and heavy winds taking place outside my home.
As I continued to watch the rain fall, I proceeded to reflect on how the present moment oddly encompassed all the feelings I’ve been battling over the past month brought on by the unique season of pandemic:
- Fear of my own safety and the safety of my loved ones
- Sadness and grief over the loss of so many things – plans, jobs, loved ones, time with family and friends, trips, routines, health, financial security, etc.
- Anxiety surrounding the unknown and how to adjust to all the change
- Isolation from others and feeling “stuck”
Rain Brings Strength and Wholeness
A couple days ago, I was listening to a favorite band of mine, The Oh Hello’s, and heard these lyrics that brought on a light bulb moment for me about the current circumstances we have found ourselves in.
And the sun, it does not cause us
The sun, it does not cause us to grow
It is the rain that will strengthen
The rain that will strengthen your soul
It will make you whole
These lyrics point out the simple fact that the sun alone cannot bring growth to plants. Rather, the rain is essential for strengthening the roots deep into the ground to support the growth of plants. Without the rain that so often comes in the early spring time, we would not have the beautiful greenery and blossoming flowers that come after.
The same is true for us. While we often prefer life to look like the sunny days, it is the rainy seasons that we find our inner strength and wholeness. It is the difficult times that force us to deepen our roots. It is the instability of hardship that we discover the unwavering foundation we can truly rest our life upon.
How Do We Embrace the Rain?
So, the question is, how can we better embrace this current “rainy” season of life? Take some time to journal and think through the questions below to get started.
- Reflect on past rainy seasons of life
Looking back on your life, think of challenging circumstances you have walked through. What strengths were brought out through this time? In what specific areas did you grow through this season? What did you learn about yourself? Was there a foundation that proved to be firm enough to stand on?
- Renew your current perspective
Think on how you currently perceive your circumstances. Do you see them as inconvenient, anxiety-producing or fear-provoking? What would be different if instead, you viewed this season as an opportunity to find inner strength and to grow in maturity and character? How could it benefit you and those closest to you if you shifted your mindset? What is keeping you from this perspective?
- Refresh your routine
Apply what you have learned from past challenging circumstances. What unique strengths could you exercise now to cope more healthily? Write down the specific areas of life being stretched through the current season (i.e. parenting, job security, physical health, lack of social interaction, open-ended time). Now write down 1-2 action steps to pursue growth in those areas. Lastly, reflect on the “foundation” or “roots” you have in your life to lean on as support. How can you pursue or incorporate this/these more intentionally in your routine?
The Sun Will Shine
When I look back on the day it stormed, I see now that it brought to light my need to control. When my plans for the morning were hindered, it forced me into acceptance and learning how to be still. Later that day, the rain stopped and the sun came out. My enjoyment of the sun was characterized by a deep gratitude and appreciation because of the storm I had endured. This is true for all of us – this season of pandemic will end, and the sun will shine once again. Until then, we can embrace the rain as it deepens our roots and brings about growth in our lives. And because we have endured this storm brought on by the Coronavirus, we will that much more enjoy the sunshine on the other side of it.
Made Well Center Intern