I can see clearly now

“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind”
~Johnny Nash

I live in a part of the world that can put on a really good thunderstorm. We can get the rapidly darkening of the sky (even in the middle of the day), the bright flashes of lightning, the ear-splitting booms of thunder, the pouring rain, the high winds sending things flying through the air, and the damaging outbursts of hail. It’s not unusual to emerge from a storm like this to find branches down, items in the yard blown about, or the power out for a while.

But one of the things that always amazes me when I first creep out of the house to check for damage after such a storm is the fresh newness of the world and the clarity with which I see it—at least for that first bit of time until “normal” life distracts me again.

My senses are all still heightened after the threat of the storm, and with the darkness and violence of the weather no longer obscuring my view, I am able to experience the world in greater detail. The air seems washed clean with a smell of ozone and wet grass that comes only after a good storm. My eyes are more observant as I check for damage, and I am more likely to really see the vibrant green around me, the residual drops of water sparkling in the re-emerging sunlight, the reflective sheen on the puddles in ways that I would normally overlook as I go about my tasks stuck in my head. I hear the birds and the insects re-starting their usual songs and the dripping of the water from the gutters and off the leaves of the trees.

I am aware of the world around me with a clarity that often eludes me in those moments after the storm has passed. And so it is with many of life’s storms.

I’ve had an almost unprecedented (for me) number of interactions with people in the last twenty-four hours. And having just passed through a rather intense emotional storm of my own, I felt a similar ability to see these interactions from a detached place of purer awareness than I normally achieve. It was an interesting learning experience.

In some cases, I noticed patterns showing up in the way I acted or the way the other person acted or in the dynamic of the relationship that have been present all along, but that I am not ordinarily aware of. In other cases, I noticed myself choosing to act in ways that were different from my usual patterns because I could see more options for responding than I am normally aware of. I even had moments of noticing my own self-talk and emotional reactions to situations or people who were not even present with a clarity that is unusual for me.

I would like to cultivate the ability to remain in this state of awareness more often—without first needing the intensity and turmoil of a storm to wake me up enough to pay attention. Life just works so much better when approached with this kind of awareness. And maybe if I keep seeing so clearly, I can make the kind of choices I need to make to reduce the number of life’s emotional storms that arise. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Besides, as desperate as we are for rain, I’d really rather save all of my thunderstorms to be the ones outside that bring the possibility of some moisture for our parched land.

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.