How do you find sunshine during a storm? I’ve found it’s not hard if you know where to look. In the summer of 2013 I moved from Washington D.C. to Washington state. After I was settled in, I made a lunch date with my friend Nadette. I’ve know Nadette for over 12 years and she has the amazing ability to make everyone feel special. She arrived at our new house with a welcome basket of Washington goodies (including Seattle chocolate to which I am now addicted). In the basket was also a solar dancing flower pot. She said, “So you’ll know when the sun is out.” Cute. I placed in at my kitchen sink window. Obviously Washington is known for rainy days. Before moving I was a little nervous and it didn’t help that everyone was making negative comments on how crummy the rain would be. Most of whom have never lived in Washington. Go figure. Honestly be it global warming or just perspective it didn’t rain that much over the two years I was there. And on the days it did rain it was usually a short sprinkle before the sun peaks.
While living in Washington I did however experience a storm. Not the kind outside but something inside my heart. Questioning so many things. My purpose. God. Love. Forgiveness. Mostly I wrestled with what I believe I was supposed to be doing and ignoring the nagging feeling that this wasn’t it. It was exhausting trying to live with the expectations that everyone was putting on me. Everyone had their own ideas to what I should be doing. Not wanting to disappoint anyone I let their thoughts weigh heavy on me. I started to feel like a ship in heavy rain trying to sail all while the anchor was still down. Still sailing but drastically slower, forgetting the destination for the storm.
One early morning as I was washing dishes, I noticed the flower pot and remembered, “So you’ll know when the sun is out.” In the midst of my storm I thought “but when is the sun going to come out?” Being a bit ADD my mind started to wander back to elementary science. Doesn’t the sun comes out every morning no matter what? Yes, it does! Sometimes we can’t see past the rain but the sun is always there. It seemed so simple.
If the sun was already out then I needed to find it. To pull myself up and stand tall over the clouds. I grabbed my brown leather journal and scribble all the sunny things in my life.
In that moment I found the way out of my storm ~ counting my blessings. Thus a new ritual was found. I began to set several daily alarms to remind me to be thankful and when my phone buzzed, I’d list off things I’m thankful for. Twelve things to be exact. I believe good things come in dozens, like doughnuts and roses. So it just makes sense right?
In that moment that little flower pot turned into a life metaphor for me. I learned that the sun is bright all the time even when covered by clouds. For anyone in the middle of a storm, know it’s just passing through and when it passes, you will see the sun never left. It stands burning strong, powerful and bright waiting to be seen when we rise above the storm. Here’s the secret on how to tell is the sun is out: Put your hand to your heart. Is it beating? Yes. Then, my friend, the sun is out.