In my area of Canada, that being north-central Ontario, we’ve been pretty blessed this winter in terms of storm blasts and bad weather. Now, having even thought that and worse, allowing such a thought to be typed out, we’ll likely wake up tomorrow morning and find three feet of heavily drifted snow on the ground.
You see, this is what happened to Newfoundland in eastern Canada in mid-January. They thought, “Hey we’re having a pretty decent winter so far don’t ya think?” and then got this massive dumping of snow over the course of one day. Mother Nature sure has a way of balancing out the score in the end.
Be careful what your thoughts are – you may end up with exactly what you didn’t wish for or could even imagine.
A couple of weeks ago, Lynn and I happened to find ourselves in Collingwood and took a quick side-detour to Sunset Point Park on a blustery and windy afternoon.
It was windy and cold enough to keep us in the car while in the parking lot at the park.
In no uncertain terms, Georgian Bay was having a stormy and messy time of it. Much of the surrounding trees, ground and anything that happened to be reasonably close by was covered by a thick layer of ice.
Now having said that, there are often times and even during the winter, when Georgian Bay can be calm and almost mirror-like in appearance. Other times like this day, not so much. A stormy tempest was brewing in a teapot.
But realistically none of this bad weather stuff is unexpected.
One doesn’t need to be a meteorologist to figure out it is winter in our area of the world and with that comes the potential for lots of snow over the winter months; high winds; and obviously the potential for storms of one description or another to pop up on a fairly frequent basis.
Life is exactly the same.
In as much as you pray and hope that things throughout your life sail along smoothly, much like a sunny and warm weekend afternoon, you and I both know that isn’t necessarily the case. We don’t go throughout our life from birth to death with it all “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.”
Storms and bad weather in our lives are going to occur. Often those storms can be somewhat minor and inconvenient like a brief summer shower at a family picnic. Other times it might be like the “snow bomb” that hit Newfoundland a few weeks ago.
Regardless if they are minor or major, storms are going to arrive on your doorstep. So then, what can we do?
Five tips for “weathering storms” in life
Check the schedule
In other words, expect storms and challenges in life to show up.
We all know this fact or at least should know that this is one of many stark realities of life – bad stuff or storms are going to happen. The ironic thing is we can often go through exceedingly long periods in our lives when things are clicking along just fine. No troubles, no storms, no strife. Life is good.
Although the “no troubles, no storms, no strife” reality of existence is a good one, it does tend to lull us into a false sense of “no troubles, no storms, no strife.” In other words, our memories or our knowledge that “bad stuff or storms are going to happen” gets sucked into some “black-hole galaxy” that all is “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.”
If you’ve had a long stretch of “no troubles, no storms and no strife” or perhaps it’s more of “sunshine, unicorns and lollipops”, there is a huge potential that your memory at this point is failing you big time. Remember, crap happens to all of us and it may happen to you about ten minutes after reading this.
Expect storms and challenges to show up.
How many of us want to run and hide under the covers when a thunderstorm is coming? When it comes to storms in our lives, we often resort to the same approach. We run and want to avoid them at all costs. Especially if the storm or difficulty was one we created all on our own.
A healthier and better approach is to develop skill(s) in taking responsibility. One problem though is that “responsibility” is often linked together with self-blame or self-pity.
However, for our purposes here, think of “responsibility” as being able to respond to the given situation you may find yourself in. Being able to respond given the storm we find ourselves in or in this case “take responsibility of” helps to keep us out of the mud-sucking hole of self-pity, blaming others or of feeling like we’re a victim in this.
A “being able to respond to” mindset really helps to put us on a course to find effective long term answers to guide us through these challenging episodes when they occur.
We all need a friend
Ever notice on Facebook or other social media platforms, that getting “hundreds or even thousands” of friends can be pretty easy. Hell, you don’t even really have to try very hard.
I find this to be especially the case if one posts a ton about how good things seem to be going in life. Lots of positive “gifs and memes” posted on a daily basis about life and how for you it is“sunshine, unicorns and lollipops.” Understandably it’s easy and not very hard emotionally to post the good stuff; the “clean laundry” in our life so to speak.
On the other hand, no one really wants to post the “dirty laundry” or difficult situations they may be facing. Oh, some do and mostly they get back quaint platitudes and quotes that don’t really help them but do make the person who sent them feel really good and special.
No wonder people don’t reach out when times get tough.
But, you don’t need fake FB friends or fake social media friends when storms in life hit.
What you do need is just one friend or person that you can lean on. As difficult and or hard as it might be, often leaning on a friend can be a real help in weathering whatever storm you find yourself in. When difficult times hit, often your “so-called FB friends” will scatter like cockroaches in the kitchen when the light is flicked on in. But who cares, they’re fake anyway.
Remember, just one friend who will answer the call and stand with you during this time.
Lean on a friend.
Although it may be something we don’t want to hear, difficult challenges often end up building character and helping us to grow in ways we never thought possible.
In retrospection, isn’t it those moments of adversity that we’ve gone through and kicked the crap out of that we take pride in; learned from; and have grown from?
It may be a strange approach, but don’t shy away from storms. Successfully navigating through a storm will often show that you are far more capable of tackling life and new challenges, more than you ever imagined.
Celebrate your successes
There is a good chance that right this very moment as you’re reading this, you’ve been through a storm or difficult period in your life at some point in the past. And you made it through whatever that stormy period was.
Celebrate that success. Why? Because you’ve handled and conquered challenges in the past, there is no reason why you can’t do the same thing again.
Even if the success wasn’t birthed out of some difficult storm you faced, celebrate it anyway.
Our lives are made up of far more success stories that were not born out of challenges or storms, but that were just simply born. We need to continually remind ourselves(or at least I need to) that life isn’t all composed of storms and bad weather.
As individuals, we can, unfortunately, end up at some point in life, where we see the glass as only and always half empty. The reality is the freakin’ glass is also half full.
Whether the success was a result of riding out some storm in life or just simply a success that fell into our laps – celebrate them all.
Celebrate your successes.
Five simple tips for weathering the storms in life.
- Check the schedule(expect stuff to happen)
- Take responsibility(respond to the situation – don’t run and hide)
- We all need a friend(lean on someone to help)
- Welcome it(storms and challenges help us to grow)
- Celebrate(you made it through before and you’ll do it again – celebrate that)
What are some tips that you can share with others to help make it through the storms in life that we know we are going to face?
— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —