In over two months of my stay, I was convinced Santa Marta had never seen a drop of rain. With the hot sun beaming down from the clear blue sky every day, I had almost forgotten what a cloud looked like.
Until, one late afternoon when a mass of clouds rapidly rolled in and the roaring sound of thunder shook the ground as the heavy rain came pouring down. The streets flooded and turned into rivers in a matter of minutes. As they overflowed, water made its way into the homes.
My husband and I stood in despair as we watched the water creeping in from the back door into the bedroom and flowing to the front of the apartment into the kitchen. We each grabbed a broom and started sweeping the water from inside the apartment out the front patio door. The more we swept, the higher the water rose. Exhausted from battling against a rainstorm that was in full force, we took a breather out on the front porch.
We looked down the far end of the street and couldn’t believe our eyes.
Adults and children were running across the street, splashing around in the flood, laughing, singing and dancing. Yes, their homes were also flooded.
But, they were out dancing in the pouring rain!
We dropped our brooms and realized we had been fighting against the storm. The heavy rain was pouring down; there was nothing we could do to stop it. We could continue sweeping the water all we wanted, but unless the rain stopped, our efforts served no purpose.
Meanwhile we were missing out on all the fun.
So, we got together with our next door neighbors and prepared a delicious supper (barefoot on the kitchen floor with water till our ankles). We sat outside on the porch under the canopy and enjoyed our meal with each other’s company while watching the rain.
When the rain finally calmed down, within fifteen minutes, the street floods drained and in no time, we got rid of the water from the apartment. The next day, the sun was shining bright.
How does this apply in our life?
We all face hardships and adversities in our lives. Some feel like heavy storms that never seem to calm down so we can get back to living our lives in peace.
So, we resist, avoid and battle against the storms that are out of our control. Or, worse, we hide, afraid to go out and get wet. We become a slave to ourselves and our emotions.
We may just be missing out on meeting new people and new opportunities and having fun. All of which might help us to learn and grow, instead of exhausting ourselves over fighting against hardships. It may prompt us to change our beliefs, our decisions and actions and how we choose to live our lives.
If we are truly aware and accept that some adversities are out of our control, we are open to face them with a different perception. Our emotions no longer lead the way. Instead, we allow them to be heard and guide our actions.
If we remain strongly attached to our emotions and react through them, we could sweep all we want, the storm will not calm down. If we stop and zoom out on the situation, we might see the whole picture.
Take a breather
I know, this sounds like one of those things that’s easier said than done. How can you possibly take a breather when there’s so much going on in your life, right? Ask yourself, what is the one thing I truly have control over in changing the person or situation I’m reacting to? YOURSELF!
If we deeply tune into our emotions, we will discover that very often they are based on our perception of the truth or an image we created on how others or our life should be. Taking a breather and engaging in an enjoyable solo activity (walking in nature, baking, writing and so on) will help connect us with ourselves and reenergize us in seeing the truth in the situation and act accordingly. We may even discover that having gone through a particular hardship was the best thing that could have happened to learn what we needed and let go of that which had been holding us back from a happier life.
When we challenge everything we believe we are or how others should be and the world around us, we discover the truth about that which dwells deep inside us.