Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain. — Vivian Greene
Life is hard, depressing, terrifying, heartbreaking, and messy. It’s also joyous and beautiful. One thing I know for sure is that it’s certainly interesting.
If I’ve learned one thing through my life, it’s that life tends to present “opportunities” when you least expect it. And when I say “opportunities”, I’m not talking about the good stuff. I’m talking about extreme challenges, such as:
- A cancer diagnosis.
- A parent being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
- A good friend passing away unexpectedly (and too young).
There are any number of awful things that occur in life, many of which you have zero control over. That’s when you’re given the opportunity to choose what to do with your hardship (and make no mistake, you have a choice).
Table of Contents
The Choices You Have
You know the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? It may come as a bit of a shock to you, but I’ve always hated it. Maybe it’s because the phrase has been overly used. Or perhaps it’s because so many people who say it don’t ever follow it.
But regardless of how I feel about the phrase, there’s truth in it. When hardships occur, how do you choose to be? Do you choose to…
- Wallow in self-pity and get stuck in misery?
- Learn what you can from your experiences, while finding joy in the process?
The Gift of Life
Life is a gift. A gift that includes the messy stuff – the fear, the sorrow, the anger, the difficulty. You learn from and grow because of the hard stuff.
And you’re more capable of feeling joy and seeing the beauty in life because of the messy, tough, fearful moments.
This is important to keep in mind, because it opens the door to a new, better way of thinking. It helps to create a mindset permitting you to learn, grow, and continue moving forward no matter what’s going on in life. And it’s what will allow you to enjoy even life’s messy moments.
Adopting this mentality is what will encourage you to dance in the rain instead of moaning about getting wet (and you might just find that dancing in the rain brings out the sun a bit sooner than expected).
Besides, there are inklings of good throughout even the hardest times. You just need to be open to seeing them.
How to Dance in the Rain Amidst the Storm
When Times Get Tough
When tough times occur, own where you are and how you feel. The worst thing you can do is to hide from your feelings or pretend they don’t exist. Finding joy in the journey doesn’t mean ignoring the bad stuff and pushing your feelings to the side. If you don’t allow yourself to feel, you’ll never move forward.
Be careful not to stay in your feelings for too long, as there comes a time to move on. Figure out what you’re learning from the experience and use that to move forward. Always move forward.
I know that sometimes the tough times get to be almost unbearable. I’ve been there. But you still have a choice. This is YOUR choice. Find the path that is there for the taking – a path away from the edge.
Finding a Path Away From the Edge
How do you find the right path – the one that will lead you away from the edge? First, don’t ever forget how beautiful, important and worthy you are.
Second, remind yourself that you’re still ALIVE. Own up to it and start acting like it.
On my cancer journey, I met some beautiful people who were dying. But they were still here, still alive. And they lived. You could say they danced (rather beautifully). If they can do that, so can you.
Finally, get help. Talk to people you love and trust. And if that doesn’t help, then reach out for professional help. There’s no shame in that – sometimes it’s part of what it takes to dance in the rain.
We’re all on a journey. A journey with many surprises – both good and bad – and numerous challenges (or maybe one huge challenge that never leaves our side). The ending to our journey is a complete unknown.
Even if you think you know what you’re dying from, you don’t. Because something else could always take you first. Kind of scary, right? But isn’t it just a bit exciting too?
Your life’s journey is a tapestry woven from your many experiences – a tapestry filled with rich colors and textures. It’s messy and absolutely beautiful. When you think of it that way, it is difficult not to find joy in the journey.
Until next time…