I am currently in the midst of my own storm and the funny part of it is I LOVE storms…thunderstorms, not personal ones. I love the electricity of it; I love the wind, the lightening/thunder, and the ominous clouds seemingly flying away. I love watching it roll in and often feel like it ends too soon yet I also enjoy the tranquility after things settle down.
I’m in the ‘batten down the hatches’ phase of my storm, or at least it feels that way. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, yet I currently can’t see it. I know this will pass and all will be well, but right now I’m unsure of what lateral damage will occur in the meantime. I go from hope to fear in the matter of minutes, and yet I know that all is well and all will be well.
My internal storm began brewing in late spring and now I seem to be smack dab in the middle of a monsoon with rain, rain, and more rain. I’m in the middle of a rain forest with rain and beauty, yet little signs of the sun.
I put my loft on the market in late June in a great Chicago neighborhood, priced well, and I just knew it would sell right away. I expected it to go that weekend. That weekend came and went, the next week, the next month, and now almost four months later, I sit wondering why? Great neighborhood, shows well, priced right, and I sit. I’ve had energy work done on my place and they found little issue with it and cleared what they found. I’ve buried two St. Anthony statues, and I’ve talked (in my mind) to the new owners telling them how they will love the place as much as I do (did). And I sit. I’ve gone from excited, to hopeful, to frustrated, to worried, and sometimes have had all of those feelings in one day. What am I to learn from this experience? Where is the silver lining in my cloud? How do I not only stay positive through this experience but also continue to do my work as a positivity catalyst and founder and vision keeper of Positive Focus?
Well, as I say it a lot, being positive isn’t a 24/7/356 days of the year feeling, yet for some reason I decided I HAD to be as the founder of Positive Focus. I don’t like focusing on feeling sad, disappointed, frustrated or any other fear-based feeling. Negativity is part of our reality and can be helpful as it brings us more clarity about how we want to feel and how we want to live. Four months of clarity? This experience has made me face my fears and work through them rather than brush them off.
I still believe in focusing on love over fear, while now seeing that sometimes you have to walk through the fear to get to the deeper love. And trust me, this is what I coach others on all the time…now I’m having to walk it myself and let go of feeling as though I’ve failed positivity by assuming I had to be perfect to advocate the power of positivity.
These four months, and still not knowing how much longer it will go on or how far I can go on with it, has been an experience of endurance, hope, sadness, love, frustration, excitement, disappointment, and except for my very darkest moments (which are few) a complete knowing that on the other side of this experience I will be better because of it, loving and appreciating life at a deeper level.
For the next week I invite you to walk through your personal storm by:
Digging deep and finding anything within the storm to appreciate. Depending on the velocity of your storm, it may require you to simply appreciate that you are breathing on your own, have a warm bed to sleep in, etc.
Facing your fears and not letting them consume you. Fear will visit; it’s your choice to let it move in. Along with diligently focusing on what I am grateful for, listening to uplifting music, talking to empowering friends, learning to be okay with uncertainty, I have also started tapping with a friend which allows me to acknowledge my fears and then release them.
Being gentle with yourself because it’s truly okay to have fearful thoughts. Remind yourself that experiencing the things you don’t want allows you to more clearly define what you do want.
Holding on to what feels good and releasing what doesn’t. Hold on to how you want to feel at the end of the outcome (happy, excited, grateful, ready for a new adventure) rather than focusing on how that outcome comes about (house must sell by this date).
Mostly my wish for you is to walk through the storm with your head held high as we all go through them. Heroes weren’t born heroic; they faced storms and came through on the other side bigger and better. Know your storms are giving you the opportunity to be more heroic in your own life.
Until next time, when push comes to shove, I’m going to hold on and HUG. How about you?
~ Mattie Stepanek
“The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”
“We all face storms in life. Some are more difficult than others, but we all go through trials and tribulation. That’s why we have the gift of faith.”
~ Joyce Meyer