We have all heard the saying "April showers brings May flowers". So, what does that mean? Basically it means after all the rain, the flowers will bloom. Simple enough, right? Except it isn't that simple if you apply that metaphor to trials in your life. When we are going through something tough, it's hard to remind ourselves that the blessings are not only on their way, but might actually even happen because of the trial. Here are a few things to help you get through the adversities in your life as you wait for the blessings.
With Every Trial, We Learn - I know it is cliché, but in the words of Kelly Clarkson, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". It's true. Every trial teaches us something about ourselves and about others. If you seem to have a similar adversity over and over, you find that what used to rock to you to your core the first time, doesn't shake you as much later. Or, sometimes you learn that "I made it before, I will make it again". I find with the most painful circumstances, just knowing you survived the one before helps you to survive the next one. Problems, trials and hard situations when I was younger have taught me so many lessons in my life that I am thankful for some of those now!
One Trial at a Time - When it's raining a lot (day after day) you begin to feel it will never end. The sun will NEVER shine again! I have a dog. My dog hates the rain. My dog HAS to go out so many times a day whether she likes it or not, so I have learned to look for the times when it's raining less and get her out while I can! When adversity is raining in your life, you have to keep your eyes open for the "lulls" in the rain and make the most of them. Look at the trials like the heaviest rain in a rainstorm. It will lighten up. When we have a lot of things going on at once, it can be overwhelming and downright depressing. Focus on the most pressing thing, deal with that, then face the other smaller trials--and always look for the happy, calm and non stressful moments in between. The sun may not be shining yet, but, at least you won't get drenched if you make the most of a lull in the rain.
Use Adversity for Good - We older adults love to give advice from our experience! When you go through something tough and come out on the other side, you want to share that! Seeing someone struggling with something you did, it makes you want to help them know they aren't alone. So, if you are struggling, find someone older and ask them how they handled things and if you are someone that is being asked for help, give real, helpful answers without being judgmental or harsh. Remember how it felt to struggle with finances, or the lack of sleep when your kids were young, or some other thing in your life. Sometimes you can just help someone without them asking for your help because you remember what you needed. Just saying "I've been there" may help at times, but, actions can speak louder than words other times, so use what you have learned for the good of others.
Watch for Your May Flowers - Weeks ahead of real spring, I am already on the "lookout" for tell tale signs that spring is on the way! I watch for daffodils, crocus flowers and bright yellow forsythia blooms. It might be a little too early to look for them, but, I am ever hopeful they will show up soon! During a hardship in your life, keeping your eyes "peeled" for the good in things (even when it might be a little too soon to see the good) keeps you hopeful, optimistic and focused on the positive in a situation--even if it seems like there isn't anything positive! When you start to see the one positive thing, before you know it more positive things will "pop up". Soon all of those April showers have passed and the May flowers are blooming everywhere in your life! Of course, some of us are allergic to flowers....and that is a metaphor for another blog at another time!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Managing Broker Mother Photo Credit: Michael Podger