Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Storms Don't Last Forever But They Do Build Us...

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 I’ve heard so many times that, in this life, anything of real value that you will ever attain, you will have to fight and work hard for. We can’t avoid going after what we want and need because we are worried about the battle, or the storm we are going to face. There isn’t a single thing in this world that’s made better by waiting for it to be handed to us, rather than us going for it.
Everything you care about becoming, everything you are about, needs to begin today or it may never happen. Momentum stems from how bad you want it, it comes from you pushing through obstacles and making it happen. It comes from facing the storms, and emerging victorious.

So when the outlook seems dismal about a particular situation, I try to remember that storms don’t last forever and that I need to ride them out until the end. I need only to hold tight, while I wait for the inevitable next sunshine. And as I focus on all the things I still need to achieve, my hope rises, and eventually my peace comes; sometimes in the middle of the storm. If I keep focusing on the storm itself, I lose sight of my goals and plans, and become side-tracked for far too long. There is this well known quote that goes something like, “God wouldn’t put more on you than you could bear,” and we NEED to remember that. We need to remember the basic promises HE made to us. During challenges and great obstacles (or even little ones), when we feel like we are in the middle of an uncontrollable storm, and we are scared that we’ll drown, we need to remember that HE will stay true to his promise. No matter how powerful the storm is, my God is bigger, and most importantly, He always has a plan for my greater good.

So here’s the flip side, the human side… True enough, He has a plan - but do we really need to face these storms? How many challenges do we need to go through and overcome before we can ride the sea peacefully? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself these questions a multitude of times. My answer to that is; we need those hard times in order to grow, to be better and stronger, and to feel accomplished. Storms come to teach us valuable lessons about ourselves, and to show us where we are in maturity. The same way that pain shows us that something is wrong in our bodies, storms point out the areas in which we need to mature to another level. Like the saying goes "What doesn't kill you will ONLY make you STRONGER." There is so much truth in that statement. Funny enough, you will (hopefully) never go through the same situation with the same results. Either you would have learned a lesson - which will make you avoid making the same mistakes, or you will have better results than the first go-round because now you know…
Without adversity, without opposition, without storms and hard times, we will not grow into the individuals we have the potential to become... We are works-in-progress, and the storms are what shape us, change us.

Storms and challenges are here to teach us about adversity and patience. You learn nothing if your life is all peaches and rose petals, and no lemons. Without adversity, there can be no gain in a spiritual, physical or mental capacity. We have to learn through opposition, that is what this life is about. You can’t gain muscle except through breaking down tissues in your muscles, and leaving the gym in slight pain. You can’t give birth to a beautiful baby without the pressure and pain of child-birth. Again, nothing great comes easily.

I have been taught to not feel (and be) defeated by my seatbacks. It’s amazing how I know that I will encounter obstacles, and fail at certain things - the rational me knows but my heart and mind doesn’t always accept it and it does bring me down. It does literally set me back. I see and hear of success stories around me, and I’ve even lived through them myself, so I know for those successes I had (and continue to have), I had to suffer setbacks, obstacles, defeat, adversity, disappointments and heartache to get to my goal. From finally getting pregnant and carrying to term, to being in the position that I’m in career wise, from working hard on writing my book, to being an good mother and wife… No one as ever achieved any kind of success without having failed. But the challenge is to learn to continually pick yourself up and carry on, knowing that ultimate success is yours to achieve, as long as you keep on going on and that’s is where I fail at times…

Even though we have to endure some type of hardship sometimes, I often feel that enough is enough. I need to nip that in the bud right away, as I also know anything that comes easy will never satisfy you. Your spiritual growth or decline depends on how you deal with those difficult times. So while riding through your storms, remember who controls the wind. If the winds are tumultuous, then find safety in the eye of the storm, and you'll get there through your faith. Yet if you must ride the waves of the storm, then remember that on the other side of the storm, is a blessing that you will not have room enough to receive. Hold on, don't bail out!!

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
 And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami


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