The sun had been shining brilliantly all day. In an instant, its bright rays vanished, devoured by the dark clouds approaching from the distance with a menacing vengeance. Swallowed by the storm, the sun didn’t have a chance.
The storm will pass. It is a fleeting thing, built on momentum and atmospheric pressure and whatever else meteorologists say causes storms.
Yet, the sun is always there, even when hidden on a gloomy or cloudy day. It might be harder to see its light, but it is a constant.
When the sun shines brighter, the storm clouds break apart or drift away. Sometimes the sun gives the gift of a rainbow, a lovely prism of light in reds, blues, purples and greens. The world is fresh and new and the feeling of promise is contagious. When you’ve survived the storm, how can there be anything but hope?
This isn’t a story about storms, rainbows or suns, although some part of me wants to start singing “The Rainbow Connection” in the best Kermit the Frog impression I can muster.
But it could be a story about storms, rainbows and suns because, really, that’s what life is like. Life is a series of contradictions, successes, failures, joy, despair, choices, plus everything and anything in between. We are the suns in our lives. We find rainbows; we face storms; we hide when we’re uncertain; we radiate when we’re doing what we love.
Of late, some of my going has gotten tough. The storm brewing in the distance has come in strong and furious; the rain and lightning are relentless. I am standing in the eye of the storm. I can’t help but wonder if there is a sun. I’m not sure this storm will ever stop.
During these times of struggle, I focus on my past. Previous decisions made, friends lost, this path chosen over that, always itemizing and categorizing every perceived mistake I’ve ever made. Thinking on my past turns me to frustration, despair and anger.
My storm is anger and the past. This storm of anger has raged and roared within me for years, sometimes with the mew of a kitten and other times with the bellow of a lion.
I look back in anger. I’m angry at what has been. I’m angry at why I couldn’t have tried harder to make it different.
If I’d been smarter, savvier, wiser, prettier, or just something MORE – whatever that more could be or should have been – it would all be different.
I can hold a grudge. I am the elephant who remembers everything. I’m angry that I can’t let it go. But when you’ve been wronged, it’s hard to let go. It’s hard to forget.
No more. Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
I guess you might say I had what Oprah calls an “aha! moment.” Either that or its time to take the power back and find my strength like a good friend reminded me I had. I know I have the choice to look backward or focus forward for joy. This time I choose joy. This time I look forward.
Don’t look back in anger at the storms in your life. Don’t look back. Make peace and let go. The time is now for the promise of better things to come. Trust me, I know it won’t be easy. I’ve taken some giant leaps in staring down my storm.
After all, if you’re six feet standing tall in the eye of the storm, how can you expect anything else but rainbows when the sun shines again?