A pulsating cloud of ominous purples and grays and clattering thunder are approaching. Lightning flashes. One moment the sun is shining then the shadow passes over and we feel threatened. Fear. Worry. We stare in wonder at the sky and we think of only the damage it will cause after the storm has passed. I have stood in the storm many times only to run for cover. I begrudged the pain. I have asked the “why me?” question. I screamed. Cried. Begged for the pain to be over. I blamed and pointed my fingers in every direction. The storm did not cease. It was relentless in its power over me. I have experienced depression. I drank way too much to deal with my pain. I have lost friends. I have turned away when I should have loved more. I have stopped myself from saying the words that could heal or change, because of the denial that I had the power. I watched my mother die from cancer. I have isolated myself from others. I have labeled myself and others with labels they would be unable to tear away and I thought I deserved. [Enter any of your problems here], because we share a lot of the same issues just with different names and circumstances.
Embrace the storm. Let the rain come and wash your pain away. Let the thunder shake you deep into your core. Let the flashing light enter wisdom to your soul. What if we saw the storm as the best thing that ever happened to us? The raging wind as a chance to have all raw emotions exposed and then we could heal. The churning waters that spin us and change our direction to sail us back to pure bliss. What if we realize when the sun parts the clouds to reveal the new thoughts and new light exposes and directs us to our yellow brick road we will be lead to our most liberating experience to date? What if we say “thank you” in advance before the storm is over? Remember in Pretty Woman when she’s wearing the red dress and off to the opera? She says thank you for the incredible night that hasn’t happened yet. I believe it works the same way in good as it does when we believe it is something bad. In the moment, say thank you to this most incredible, beautiful, inspiring storm. Thank you for giving me turmoil to work through. Because, I am going to work through it! I say thank you for the experience that will be gained. I say thank you for the lesson that will be learned so I do not continue to repeat the same storm over and over.
I won’t lie, there are storms that I have not experienced that others have and I understand the inability to say thank you to traumatic events such an assault, death or disease. The only experience I truly understand is my mother’s death has served me in an unusual way, and I am thankful that it has been realized for me, but may not be the same for others. It did not happen overnight. I was not at her funeral saying thank you, but years later I have come to understand that her passing was to push me in another direction. I may not have her in her physical body by my side, but I have her spiritual presence instead. Not all storms that happen will be able to be understood in the moment, but all storms have a reason for being.
I never said thank you back then to all my storms, but I say it now. Thank you.
Dedicated to: Larisa and my other shining lights.
Inspired by: “Storm Comin'” The Wailin’ Jennys