Encouragement, Inspiration

April Showers

When we hear the words “April showers”, we think of pleasant gentle rains that refresh everything and everybody. Sometimes, however, these showers turn into storms full of thunder and lightning. Everyone runs for cover. Life is like that. Sometimes we have situations or inconveniences that just trip us up a little. Oops! But at other times, we have storms – major upheavals and unplanned disruptions that stop us cold in our tracks. There is no cover for us to run to. And in life, we can’t avoid storms.

Just like there is a reason behind nature’s storm, e.g., atmospheric pressures, there is a reason behind our personal storms. Sometimes we have storms because of something we did or didn’t do but, more often than not, we don’t know why we are in the storm. The unexplained storm is the most frustrating because we can’t find the reason for the storm and, no matter what actions we take, the storm doesn’t stop. I’m in an unexplained storm right now so I understand completely how it feels.

When we are in an unexplained storm, it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to spiral down into fear and hopelessness. But your job is to weather the unexplained storm. How do you weather such a storm? Here are three things not to do:

  1. Make hasty major decisions. You will regret them after the storm ends. For instance, you’re in a financial storm so you decide to take a roommate into your quiet two-bedroom townhouse. You discover you and your roommate have different living styles and your stress levels increase, and they escalate when you discover all the legal hoops you have to jump through to evict the roommate. No hasty decisions.

  2. Tell everyone about your storm. Everyone doesn’t need to know. You may inadvertently tell someone who purposely causes more storms to appear. Yes, you’ll need to vent but vent to a few people who you know are in your corner and trustworthy.

  3. Ruminate about your storm. Thinking and thinking about your storm will only turn you into a deer in headlights – frozen, unable to move. Moreover, thinking and thinking about your storm is an open invitation for your storm to stick around. You get what you focus on the most.

To successfully weather your storm, here are four things to do:

  1. Get help from trustworthy people and/or sources. This is not the time to be prideful. If resources are available to you, use them – that’s why they are there. Besides, you may be helping someone else feel useful.

  2. Keep active. Stay involved with your family and friends. Keep doing as much of your normal routine as you can. Revive a pushed-aside hobby. Look in your local newspaper or online for free activities you’d like to do (planting in the local community garden, visiting an art event, etc.).

  3. Find someone you can help. Nothing works better for getting your mind off of you than focusing on someone else.

  4. Personal growth. Read books or listen to audio books and podcasts from a successful person you admire. You’ll discover the person went through multiple storms, some worse than the one you’re having, on his/her road to success in life. You’ll learn you’re not alone in having storms.

After a storm in nature clears, we see what things are strong and secure, and what things need to be shored peony-785300_1280up. Likewise, when our personal storm clears, we can see what in our makeup is strong and secure, and what needs to be shored up. When we go through a storm (and you will), we know we are survivors and not victims. Our character and self-confidence deepens. Most importantly, we are now equipped to help another person survive the same storm.

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