How to Survive a Storm
Live long enough and you will encounter one. You will be cruising along feeling pretty good about your life and BAM! Your life is turned upside down by something unexpected...and unwelcome.
It is not IF you will experience storms in your life, it is WHEN you will experience a storm. It is inevitable. No one in life escapes them. You will have at least one MAJOR storm in your life.
Not all storms are equal. What is classified as a thundering storm for you may look like a brief rain shower to me. It is important that you not compare your storm to anyone else's. Your storm is unique to you and your circumstances, although you may learn some lessons from people who have gone through similar storms.
The most common result of surviving really awful life storms is the tendency to become bitter, mean, and hateful. We shout "It's not fair that....." You can fill in the blank. Through these negative thoughts and belief patterns, you begin coloring your life darker and darker. The storm has ended, but you hold on to the experience and re-live it over and over.
We scream for justice. And when justice doesn't manifest itself, we conclude that life is not fair and begin living an experience that keeps us from manifesting the life we desire. You CANNOT focus on all that is wrong and experience all that is right.
The first step in surviving your storm without bitterness lies in changing your focus.
I have never drove a motorcycle, but I am told that one of the cardinal rules is to watch where you look. You will go in the direction that you look.
What you choose to look at in the middle of your storm is so important. If you get this first step wrong, it will take you down a path that leads to misery. Who wants to go there?
Your focus can cause your thoughts to rise...or fall. This is all about getting your mind right. Myopic thinking will cause your thoughts to sink. So it is vitally important that you raise your level of thinking by focusing on the big picture.
It sounds counter-intuitive to tell someone in a storm that you have to survive by focusing on the big picture. Your intuition may be telling you to obsess on the details of where you are now.
Obsessing on where you are now can cause you to lose your hope and get frustrated. Looking at the big picture will help you see what you are missing by focusing on your storm.
Start by sitting in a peaceful place and taking a few deep breaths. Relish in the miracle of your breath. It means that you are ALIVE.
Focus your thoughts on all of things for which you can be grateful. Surviving a storm will require you to block out thoughts about all of the things that you DON'T have right now. Again, you have to watch where you look. Seeing every little thing for which you can be grateful will cause your thoughts to rise.
If you are struggling here, take some time and write out a grateful list. Think of very small things for which you can be grateful. Even something as simple as a good cup of hot tea can cause gratefulness to rise. Here are some more:
A place to live
Clean water to drink
A kind word or encouragement given to you
The freedom to choose
Access to the things you need
Resources including your current source of income
Mental alertness if you are reading this blog right now
After you have finished your grateful exercise, take this next step. Walk outside and look into the sky. What do you see? Will it always be this way?
Your answer should be "No." Well, this should confirm to you that whatever situation or storm you are in now will not last forever. Just as the sun shines and then the rain clouds come and go, so will the storms in your life blow over. It won't be THIS WAY always. Things will change.
And when you are in a storm, that is good news indeed.
And whatever you are going through right now, be assured of this one thing:
I am cheering for you!
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