Still Shining

192375

Photo credit http://www.strangefarmer.com image 192375

    We moved from one of the cloudiest cities in the world to one of the sunniest. That’s taking some time to get used to. It’s dry here. One thing I always thought was mystical was flying in the clouds. Not just flying through them, brushing over the wings of the plane and this feeling of just being able to put your hand out the window and touch them-that alone is incredible.
     No, not that. I’m talking about the mystical phenomenon of flying through a rain storm and after a few minutes of turbulence and grey clouds, in the blink of an eye be thrust into unhindered sunlight. I’m not sure if you’ve had that experience, but it really is something that I have come to cherish. I always get a bit excited when it’s raining out on the tarmac before we take off because I know that my reward will be the bright shining sun in just a little while.
     Life is not all unicorns and rainbows and whoever tells you that is not living in reality. No matter if we are the 2% elite in the world (i.e. the USA) or in complete and utter chaos (Syrian refugees)- life is hard. Life is difficult. Life a lot of times has seasons of complete chaos and darkness that just don’t make sense. That’s just the way it is.
     Out of college I worked with high school students for a few years. I had my share of walking through kids who lost their mom unexpectedly in a car accident, or lost friends due to suicide. This not to mention with eating disorders, bullying, broken hearts and teen pregnancies. Moving into a new career path from there working with university students and older adults, it seems as though those types of issues never went away or even got worse. They just were.
     One thing I have been reminded of lately is that no matter what kind of storm is surrounding my life, no matter how dark the clouds, how often the lightening strikes or how loud the thunder is, above the clouds the sun is always shining. There is a hope, if we chose it, that lasts beyond any of the current situations we are in. It has nothing to do with powering through or positive thinking. It has everything to do with believing and trusting that things will get better and change. For me, this hope is based in faith in my God. This hoping is an active and conscious choice.
     I would love, LOVE to tell you that I’ve mastered this and no matter what, I’m always hopeful that things will get better. But, I’m not. I haven’t mastered it. I go through moments and very long dark seasons, where I’m not hopeful that things will turn around or change. So, why do I continue to hope then? Because my personal experience and what I’ve seen in my friends’ lives who have chosen to hope is that it does turn around, usually in ways we never thought it would. For me, choosing to be hopeful has left me with greater self awareness, deeper relationships and more opportunity for influence in the world around me. Choosing despair or hopelessness, has always left me with victim mentality, aimless wandering and sulking all of which equal broken relationships.
     There is always a choice. Maybe not a great choice, perhaps not a good choice, but you always have a choice. I hope you chose to recognize the sun above the clouds, still shining.
I’d love to hear your stories. Please comment where you’ve seen hope or hopelessness in your life. And, thanks for reading.
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