No one wants to suffer. No one wants to experience the earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes of life. But we all long to have bright skies, gentle breezes, and the kiss of sunshine upon our faces. I am right there with you on that!
But what I’ve come to realize is something I tell my son all the time “you can only get rainbows when there’s sunshine and rain”. In other words, there is a purpose for the positive and negatives in your life – to create the perfect situation for your beautiful rainbow to brighten the sky and spread beauty to those around you.
Here’s a great exercise:
Get a sheet of paper and make 3 columns (landscape or horizontal page works best). In the leftmost column, quickly jot down 3 or 4 really crappy things you’ve experienced. Go ahead, I’ll wait – shouldn’t take more than 90 seconds.
Now, in the rightmost column, list some great things that you experienced. Go ahead, I’ll wait – should take more than 2-3 minutes.
Okay, you have two columns with a middle chasm. Take a look at the crummy list then take a look at the awesome list. For the center column, I want to you compare the 2 lists and note where the great stuff followed the less than stuff by making an arrow from the crummy thing the the great thing that followed (in days, months, perhaps years in the making).
By the end of exercise, I’m sure you’ll be surprised to see that the heartache endured opened the door for the wonders embraced. Some things happens and there seems to be no rhyme, reason, or joy. Those things tend to have the more subtle lessons – some which take longer to understand.