I admire people who choose to shine, even after all the storms they have been through.
When you look at the refuse, strewn across the ravaged landscape at the culmination of a horrific storm, you can see the massive devastation that the storm has left in its wake. The once towering trees have toppled, the dominant cliffs have eroded and slid down to the flat lands. Signs of carnage to the landscape is everywhere.
Yet, surprisingly, it is the supple blades of grass that have held their position and remain alive after the storm has rearranged the rest of the terrain. Sometimes, being soft is strong. Sometimes, maintaining a positive frame of mind, and keeping our calm through moments of insanity is all that is available to us. Sometimes, that is all we have to hold onto during a storm.
Yet, not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.
There have been many times in my life in which I have been clinging to the safety of a metaphorical tree trunk during a storm, presuming that my salvation would only occur in that process. As the velocity of the storm magnifies, I continue to cling harder, my resolve growing with each and every torrent in the storm.
When the storm clears and I find myself still holding on to that trunk, grateful to be alive, I am often surprised to discover opportunities that did not exist prior to the storm having swept me up in it torrential downpour.
Where there were once obstacles too ominous to overcome, there is now a clear path, leading me directly to where I wish to travel next.
There is much more to this than a traditional “cup being half full or half empty,” mindset.
Even optimists like me, can be blindsided by a storm. We can be left barely alive at the end of the experience, wondering how or where we are going to find the resolve to pull it all back together again.
The difference that this aphorism points to is the perspective that comes at exactly that moment. When the storm has passed, are you feeling “woe is me,” or are you feeling, “I am so damn glad to be alive!”?
If you are in the latter camp, your propensity to survive every storm that comes your way is infinitely higher. You have the vision and fortitude to prevail under the most adverse circumstances. You have the perspective to understand that storms are a part of the overall experience. And most importantly, you have the wherewithal to recognize that it is solely your personal perspective that will dictate your ultimate outcome.
With those tools firmly in place, as Thoreau so aptly said, “from the right point of view, every storm, and every drop in it, is a rainbow.”