Patterns of light and shadow form on the walls, creating pieces of moving art as the wind rustles the trees outside. I snuggle deeper into my chair with my comforter and steaming cup of coffee and watch in fascination as pine needles and branches form dancing silhouettes on the wall above my bed.
The heavy cloud cover of our Northwest winters can make the winter months gray and dark. But when the sun breaks through, everything that had been dreary and dull, comes alive. The threads in my comforter shine like gold. Everything in my home springs to life with color as the sun’s rays penetrate deep into every room.
When the onslaught of monumental losses or seemingly endless change threatens to overwhelm us, our world can seem colorless and drab. Even moments of fleeting pleasure don’t seem to have a long-lasting remedy for depressed spirits.
When our internal world remains gray for long periods of time, we begin to doubt our life and purpose. We struggle to believe there is a God who really exists and who cares. We need reassurance. We need to accept that just like we still believe there is a physical sun when clouds show no traces of one, that we can also accept that God is real and is there in the gray periods of our lives.
Why is it so easy to believe that the sun still exists when we can’t see it, but we struggle to believe that God still loves us when our world is covered with clouds of grief and loss?
Sometimes the journey through change seems long. And then we receive those moments of sunlight; a glimpse into a brighter tomorrow filled with new life and a new reality with new opportunities. Expand those moments and possibilities.
1. Make a list of all your past accomplishments. Remember the risks involved, the struggles and the challenges you went through. Losses can make our past accomplishments seem small or trivial. Think about them as successes.
2. Make a list of all your strengths, both personal and professional. Don’t minimize any of them. Losses can diminish our evaluation of what we can and cannot do today. Celebrate all of you.
3. Even when you are feeling anxious or uncertain, refocus your thinking on possibilities for yourself and your future. There will be times when you feel you are barely surviving, but that will change and energy and motivation will return.
4. It takes time to regain our balance. Resist making immediate huge drastic or life-altering changes without thinking them through. Take some time to sort out what you need to hang onto and what you can let go of.
©2013 Marlene Anderson