When will the storm be over? When it's done

While in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm the other day, my youngest asked me, "Mom, when will the storm be over?" "When it's done", I replied. Simple. Honest. True. Maybe even Confucius-like. But the reality was that when it was going on, my child felt helpless and scared. And unfortunately, as in life, there was really nothing I could do but wait until it was over.

When we're in the middle of something tragic and bigger than ourselves, when we're in a tumultuous experience and we're being tossed from here to there, without control, without knowing which way is up, without knowing where we're going to land, sometimes the only thing we can really know for sure is that someday, somehow, this will all end. And sometimes, it's just that thought alone that can get us through.

But then, once the storm ends, where do we go? Do we pretend as if what happened was just another "bump" in the road? Do we step back and take stock and contemplate what just happened? And if we are to think and reflect, just what are we supposed to reflect upon? Because having just escaped a tremendously difficult experience, we really can't know what it means and what will happen until we have settled just a bit. And not for 5 minutes and not for 5 days, but for some real time; time to pass, time to let us gain some perspective. Because having survived and having escaped and having been thrown around our life a little, we can walk out the other side but we are by no means unscathed.

We need time to nurse our wounds. We need time to be still and we need time to clean up and we need time to ourselves to stop and and think... and settle down. And in the settling down we will embrace how we have changed. We can decide to bring into ourselves our bruises and scrapes, we can make them part of us, we can draw them into us. When we settle down we can still forge ahead, maybe limping, maybe struggling, but always moving on. Because once the storm has passed and the fear is over, we are still ourselves, we are just changed. And we should allow ourselves some time to figure out just who we are after the storm, because while we are still ourselves, we will never be the same.

This is the life.


  1. Hello Allison: I know that during the bad times, the thought or phrase that helps me the most is "This, too, shall pass." And it always does,for bad or for worse. Thanks for your thoughts. Susan


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