by David Bohl
You know that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. But sometimes, when the going gets rough, there’s no money for sugar and the lemonade ends up tasting sour.
A bad analogy, perhaps, but the point is that making it through the hard times in life is not always as easy as the clichés make it sound. Trials and tribulations are inevitable, so it’s not the lack of trouble in your life but rather how you weather the storms that really counts.
First, when you sense a storm is brewing, take a tip from the sailors of the world and batten down the hatches! Sometimes storms seemingly come out of nowhere, but almost always, there are signs that danger is on the horizon. The sky gets dark, the wind picks up, and there is that unidentifiable ominous feeling in the air. Furthermore, there are people in your life who may even tell you a storm is on its way.
You wouldn’t leave the sunroof on your car wide open when your personal weather stations call for a 90% chance of rain. Similarly, you shouldn’t ignore your boss’s warnings that your company is going under and then act surprised when a pink slip lands on your desk. When you sense that things in your life are about to go awry, don’t ignore your feelings! Take initiative and do what you can to prepare yourself for the eventual downturn.
When the storm you have braced yourself for rears its ugly head, be brave. Don’t run when you feel the first drop of rain. After all, you’re not the Wicked Witch of the West, and a little water won’t make you melt. Hiding from your troubles will only cripple your ability to properly analyze them and predict their consequences. Needless to say, that doesn’t mean you should run out into the midst of a category 4 hurricane, but if you can, find a safe place where you can face what you’re dealing with head-on. If your predicament doesn’t disappear right away, have patience and wait it out. No storm can last forever, so it’s important to press on until the sun peeks out from behind the clouds once again.
After the storm has passed, it’s time to survey the damages. Whether a tornado came careening into your life and swept away everything in the blink of an eye or floodwaters rose and are still slowly seeping away, you need to take stock of what can be fixed and in what areas you need to start from scratch. As heartbreaking as this process may be, it’s an important part of recovery. Facing the facts will not only allow you to determine your next step, but it will help you to see what your areas of weakness are and how you can improve your preparations for the next time around.
Lastly, when the rain is gone and you have picked up the pieces, it’s time to look for the rainbow. Something positive almost always stems from the negative occurrences in life, if only you are willing to see it. Maybe being fired from your job has allowed you to be home more often to spend time with your children. Your relative’s death may give you a new appreciation for life and the loved ones who are still with you.
Whatever the case may be, those who are willing to look on the bright side have a much easier time coping with hardships. After all, it’s been said that there are no roses without thorns, no sunshine without shadows, and no mountains without valleys. Now there’s a cliché with some truth to it!