|Cloudy, gray sunset.|
Last Friday we talked about how clouds make the sunsets more interesting and colorful, as do the "clouds" that come along in our lives. Last night's sunset kind of expanded on that.
See, it started out all overcast and gray. And I was pretty sure the sunset would suck. But then I saw a tinge on pink on the bottom of one of the clouds and thought, "well now". Then minutes later, the sunset exploded into fabulous color.
This reminded me of what happened at my last job. I said the wrong thing at the wrong time to my boss and she, in turn, completely handled the situation poorly and it became clear my days were numbered. So the skies on that day seemed pretty gray. But almost immediately it occurred to me to become a freelancer. The gray clouds got a tinge of pink. Then days later, I gave my notice. And, since then, it's been one wild, colorful, spectacular sunset!
|A hint of pink lines the gray.|
It has certainly resulted in the best years of my professional life so far. So the very best thing that ever happened to me started out as gray skies. For some, the very best thing started out with a spouse leaving them. Or catching a disease. Or like something that happened as a result of an old friend's actions many years ago.
My friend drove drunk on New Year's Eve and it resulted in a young man's leg being severed from his body. She went to jail for a couple of years and hasn't lived a day of her life without torturing herself over that night. But this young man contacted her 20 or 25 years later and told her losing his leg was the best thing that ever happened to him. He was going down a bad path and it was just the wakeup call he needed. Today he has a wife and children and he doubts that would have ever happened had he not been in the "wrong place at the wrong time".
|The sky explodes into glorious color.|
We tend to think of things in terms of winning or losing, luck or misfortune, or of whether or not God or the universe is on our side. But in the end, there is no such thing as loss. Nobody's being punished for anything. There is no such thing as an unsupportive universe. There are just people who prefer to live in perpetual victimhood. That sounds harsh, but the fact is that what you take away from an experience is your choice, not your fate. If you're deep in the "poor me's" it's because that's where you choose to be because it gives you an excuse not to move forward. It's natural to visit the "poor me's" when things turn tough, but wallowing there and making it your story is choosing to be a victim.
You see the choice to thrive in the face of adversity in the video of the guy with no arms or legs who turned his disability into an extraordinary ability to inspire. And through the young girl singled out and shot by the Taliban for promoting education who, after recovering her ability to walk and talk, took her fight to a much larger and more powerful audience. And through John Walsh, who used his son's kidnapping to create a national sex offender registry and the precursor to the "Amber Alert". There is no telling how many lives have been saved or criminals captured as a result of this man's gray clouds.
All these people turned their gray clouds into spectacular shows. Really, what challenges do any of us have that compare to theirs? There is a win in every loss we have...a bigger plan than we can ever imagine when we're down. Last night I waited about 15 minutes to see why the gray clouds had to be that way. Whatever you're going through may take longer. But it will change and the beauty of it will be revealed. All it takes is trust and making the choice to turn your eyes towards the gift.