Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain. – Author Unknown
Kansas City is in a drought. There has only been 0.05” of precipitation recorded this year. My hands and face are as dry and cracked as the hard winter ground. It’s rare to go so long without any type of moisture during the middle of winter in the Midwest.
There has been no snow, sleet or ice. There has been no rain. I have almost forgotten what it sounds like to hear the drops fall against the window. I need the rain to come back. I need it to wash away the harshness of the past few months and heal my fragile confidence.
Most of us have experienced periods in our lives of pronounced difficulty and pain. These cycles can last for days or weeks. Sometimes they can last for months or even longer. When we find ourselves in one of these droughts we tend to lose our objectively and begin to believe the hardship will never end. The last six months has been one of these times for me.
My job away from this blog has been challenging. Aggressive deadlines, demanding expectations, and long hours have left their mark on me. I feel weary. My spirit has been knocked down a couple of notches and there’s something missing in my confidence that makes me feel uncomfortable.
However, there is a choice in front of me right now. I can choose to allow this experience to take from me what I have been working so hard to restore over the last six years or I can ask for help. I can choose to allow my spirit and confidence to slip away or I can choose to survive the storm and continue to hope for some healing rain.
Rain finds all of us
Grace is for everyone – not just for those who feel the most deserving. We are worthy to receive it no matter what experiences have been handed to us or ones we may have created on our own. Grace is not doled out based on the severity of the pain. Grace and healing are naturally provided for us; but we have to take the time to receive it.
When we find ourselves in a prolonged drought, it may be because we have become isolated and determined to work through the issues on our own. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Just the opposite. To ask for help implies awareness there are people in your life who care about what happens to you. Reaching out to these people confirms your value and self-importance.
Ask for help and you will receive it. Ask for healing rain and allow it to pour over you and wash away the anxiety. No matter who you are, or the cause of the pain, rain will find all of us. We just have to remember to look up and ask for it to come down. It will find us wherever we are.
Rinse away the dust
Dust gathers on things not often used. The dust can build-up until it creates a thin layer separating the object from its environment. We grab clothes and wipe down the tops of pianos, the knick-knacks in the hutch and the baseboards of the walls to restore these things to how they once were.
But how do we wipe away the dust from the parts of us which have gone dormant? If we don’t use our hearts to show and receive love, then our hearts can become just as dusty as the knick-knacks. If we shut down our spirit or ignore the need to remain faithful and confident, regardless of the situation, then we run the risk of these things becoming dusty, too.
I need the rain to come back so I can stand in the middle of the sweet shower and allow it to rinse away the dust that has collected on me. I have seen the clouds gathering for some time now. My faith tells me not to lose hope. The rain will come again. When it does, it will be my choice to be ready to receive its healing.
Wash away the shame
Shame is sometimes confused with guilt. Guilt typically surfaces when we will feel we have done something wrong or inappropriate. Shame, on the other hand, attacks the core of who we are. The waters of shame can run very deep.
Perhaps you have internalized shame to the point it has become damaging to your sense of worth. When you live with a sense of self that is distorted, there is the tendency to hide your true self because you think you (and others) will not like what you see.
If left unacknowledged, shame will only find a way to continue surfacing in our life; no matter how hard we try to keep pushing it down. When pushed down, shame can manifest itself in the form of addictions, depression, loneliness, social withdrawal and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. All of these are very painful; and all are very hurtful to us and to the people in our lives.
Shame hurts so much because it makes us toxic. The enemy of our soul feeds on this toxicity and becomes even stronger from it and more determined to keep us from realizing we are valuable and worthy.
However, there is hope. We can choose to challenge the enemy and begin to heal. No matter what we have been told, shame does not belong on us. If we choose, we can allow the healing rain to wash shame away.
Soak in the grace.
When I was a child, I loved to play in the rain. Thunderstorms on a hot summer afternoon become an oasis and a break from the relentless North Carolina heat. I would remove my shirt, shoes and socks and find all of the puddles to jump over and jump in as I become fascinated with how little beads of water would drip from my nose and make a big splash at my feet.
Somewhere along the way I was told not to play in the rain anymore. The risk of catching a cold or getting struck by lightning was too great. So, I become careful and I become of afraid of things that I never realized would hurt me.
These fears followed me as I became an adult. Spontaneous reactions were limited and my guard was raised. My focus became how I could do things more cautiously; more perfectly. Then several years ago, through an act of grace, I found the little boy who once played in the rain. For the past few months, it seems I have lost this boy, again.
I need the rain to come back so I can run and jump in the puddles and reclaim that little boy. I need someone to help me and the little boy bring down the healing rain. When it does begin to fall again, I will hold him tight and allow both of us to soak in the grace the rain brings.
I woke up early this morning. Last night, before going to sleep, I could hear thunder to the south. It shook me and told me I would be finding my way back to center very soon.
My alarm clock did not get to do its job. My eyes opened a few minutes before it was set to alert me. I listened and was not disappointment. The rain had come back.
I grabbed my clothes and hustled into the kitchen to drink a cup coffee before leaving for the gym. The meteorologist on the morning news showed a huge green blog stalled over Kansas City. It would rain for most of the day.
Driving to the gym, the windshield wipers on my car gently swept away the water. Looking into the darkness of a cold, rainy morning I felt a peace and comfort begin to settle over me. The rain was back and I had not given up on myself.
I can feel my confidence being restored in realizing I had not lost faith in myself. No matter how long a drought may last, healing rain will come back when we make the choice to look up and receive its grace.