After the storm

We had a line of thunderstorms blow through town this evening. The day had been quite warm with brilliant blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds. There was a bit of a breeze, and the ground is dry and thirsty from too little rain for too long. It was a lovely day to be outside enjoying a summer weekend.

As the storms approached, it rapidly went from blue sky to black. Street lights came on early. The temperature dropped 25 degrees in a matter of minutes, and the wind became fierce. I heard at least one sizable tree limb hit the roof, and leaves rained down from the trees. Thunder, lightning and heavy rains quickly followed. Although the storm blew through rather quickly and we did not get nearly as much rain as we needed, I was struck tonight at how clearly the storm paralleled the way changes can appear in our lives and overturn everything in what seems like minutes.

The last couple of years have felt like a series of these storms for me, as one after another line has come through making my world unrecognizable in what appears to be an instant. Yes, the calm does return after the storm has blown through, but they always leave my world irrevocably changed, like the tree outside my home is now permanently without that limb. Depending on the severity of the storm, it can also leave the world cleansed and made so new that we have the chance to start over with the clean slate.

Interestingly enough, the moment when I realized the storm was rapidly approaching was just as looked up from reading a blog post by Tama J. Kieves called Between Worlds: 3 Steps to Turn Transition into Your True Life. This was a fabulous post about ways to deal with that time in a transition when we find ourselves between the world that was and the world that is coming. The way we handle that in between time will have much to do with how well the world that is coming will be a life that fulfills us.

She gives three excellent tips for how to spend this time, and I highly recommend reading her post in full. It’s simple, common-sense wisdom, but it goes against the grain of what most of us have been taught as necessary to be “successful” in this world, so these tips are things we aren’t likely to even consider trying on our own unless someone like Tama points them out to us.

As I read them, I realized that while I have followed each her tips partially, I have not truly opened myself to the strategies that she suggests. I continually find myself wanting to jump too quickly into something that is known, defined, and “safe.” It’s hard to sit with the unknown until it reveals itself. It’s hard to experiment and explore because I am afraid of failing or looking dumb. Yet I can see the wisdom in her words. In the places where I have been able to follow her advice, I have found better answers than in those places where I have hurried to find quicker or safer answers.

I still have a lot of places in my life where I need to find new answers to deal with the changed conditions that various life-storms have left behind. I think I need to engrave her advice on my hand to remind me continually to stay the course, rest, experience and explore. They all sound like such simple things to do. Have you ever noticed that the simple things are often the hardest ones to do?

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.