“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Pema Chödrön  

Have you ever watched those nature shows where they dive with sharks and film bears in the forests?

We love those in our house. Just the other day I watched one about tornadoes. A scientist explained that a tornado is a disturbance in the atmosphere and that while it looks like a big mess now, the atmosphere will correct itself.

Hearing this gave me chills.

I swung around to look my husband in the eyes and exclaimed, “Pause it! I need to write this down.”

He just looked at me, puzzled, waiting for me to explain myself.

“So many people are hurting, we need to hear this right now,” I gushed. I felt like I couldn’t get the words out fast enough.

He looked at me again, perplexed.

“The atmosphere will correct itself!” I tried again, grabbing the remote from his hands.

Still nothing. I guess he didn’t hear what I heard.

I heard that the storm will not last forever.  

I heard that the mess is part of the recovery process.  

That right there is a message of hope. It’s a message that even when the world feels upside down and you’re not sure who’s standing with you anymore, you can trust that you will find a way through.

I heard that the atmosphere is always working to restore its balance and recover from storms.

Isn’t that what we do, too?  

We’re  always in the process of restoring balance. That’s what we’re doing, even if the process is messy. 

If you’re weathering a storm right now, it might not feel like it, but know you are working toward peace. I believe you’ll find it.

Each of us possesses that drive to restore hope and find peace, but it’s easy to forget in the middle of a storm.  

Have you ever forgotten that, like maybe you’d never come back from the storm? When you’re heartbroken and crestfallen, empty-handed and exhausted to the core, have you ever forgotten that you will find way out?

When we forget this basic truth that we are always working to restore balance, what we’re really forgetting about is hope. We’re forgetting to trust the healing process.

Hearing this message reminded me of every time I lost hope.  

I can’t tell you how many times things have felt like a complete mess and how many of those times I didn’t trust that peace would come. There have been so many failures and losses that left me so angry I feared that maybe this was the new me.

But I always found my way back.

Hearing this message reminded me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. It reminded me of my determined, if not stubborn, spirit and will to keep on standing.

Yeah, maybe I’m a little worse for the wear after a storm, but I do come out the other side because I am not the storm. I’m the vast, blue, open sky.   

That’s who you are, too. You are the sky that is clear and bright and steady. And that storm? It’s just the weather.

Sometimes in life, you get the beautiful sunrise of a new beginning or the sparkling stars of life’s happiest days. Sometimes you get the cool breeze of a cleansing breath or the refreshing shower of joy’s tears.

But you know what? Sometimes you’ll get a thunderstorm, like the tears you fear will never stop when your heart is breaking.

Storms are part of life. They’re a part of dreaming and making plans. They can happen when you open yourself up to love and be loved.

Storms can also happen when you do all the right things and make all the right decisions and someone or something just takes you by surprise and leaves you speechless.

When you’re in a storm, remember that you can ride it out and find peace on the other side.  Remember that you can keep standing and fighting your good fight.

You are not broken by those disturbances in the atmosphere any more than the sky is shattered by thunder and lightning. You are not erased by challenges any more than the sky is wiped away by the wind.

You are hurt. Injured, maybe. You may be weary and tattered. But you are not broken.

Your storm right now may be devastating. It may knock out your power for days on end. It may snow you in and flood you.

This storm you’re facing might leave you ransacking the shelves and running for shelter in a cave shut away from the world.

But remember that no matter what kind of storm this is, it’s just the weather. You will find a way to restore peace, regain trust, and recognize your will to keep moving.  

Rebuilding from a storm is not easy, mind you. Neither is the path of healing.

It’s not fast. It’s not simple. It’s not painless. There is no set-it-and-forget-it formula to recovering from a storm.

But when it’s a wonder that you’re standing at all is when you need to trust yourself the most.

When you’re disillusioned and faced with choosing between the lesser of two evils is the time to remember that you can still choose the path that will do the most good.

When it’s slowest and hardest, when you feel most stripped and exposed, that’s the time when you need the most hope.

So light a candle for yourself and offer yourself encouragement in this storm. @ralph_leslie (Click to Tweet!)

Find hope in the knowledge that you can and will recover. Because you can. You can rebuild and repair what the storm threatens to break.

Whatever storm you may be facing, remember that you are so much bigger than it is. You are the sky.  

Leslie Ralph helps working (and otherwise busy + overwhelmed) moms work a happy lifestyle. With her signature blend of happy living projects, positive psychology tips, and delicious meditations, she’ll get you bringing back the balance, transforming chaos into cozy, and savoring time with your sweeties. To get you started, she’s whipped up a 2-Minute Revitalizing Meditation for you to enjoy on the house at http://www.ayearofhappy.com/revitalize.


Image courtesy of Abigail Keenan.