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WEATHER:  1. (noun) The state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.  2. (verb) To come through (something); survive: as in, weather a crisis.

Weather is all encompassing.  It’s something we notice, and likely even comment on, every day. After all, what would we talk about in an elevator with a stranger if not for the weather?   It is a relatively neutral topic and a collective, relatable experience.

However, we rarely stop to appreciate its significance.  I’m not talking about the significance of when it pours during our outdoor event.  We surely recognize that.  But rather, what an amazing metaphor the ever-changing weather is for our human emotional states.   And, even better, how we can implement this metaphor to find comfort when life gets especially challenging.

We can’t help how we feel in any given moment in the same way we have zero control over the weather.  On those days when it feels like the pain, loneliness, guilt or sadness will never end, remembering that every emotion is like a weather front just passing through may provide some comfort.

Think about it:

–     Even on the cloudiest of days, our intellect reminds us that the sun is still shining, even when we cannot see it.  In the same way, in our darkest moments, we can remind ourselves that we will laugh again.

–     In any given day, the weather can shift from sunny, to cloudy, to stormy to calm.  Very few places are sunny and mild every day of the year, so we learn to wear layers and carry umbrellas.  Accepting, instead of judging, the changing states as a part of life enables us to weather them more easily (pun intended).

–     Deciduous trees must lose their leaves in the Fall so the weight of the snow does not cause their branches to break.  Loss is a part of life and is needed to prepare ourselves for what is to come next.  Grasping to what has past only prevents us from growing.

–     The beauty of the first Spring day is magnified against the backdrop of the cold, dark winter.  Similarly, it’s the contrast of pain in our lives that allows us to appreciate the joyful moments even more.

It may sound a little touchy-feely, however, in the midst of a crisis or emotional torment, it’s easy to forget that everything is temporary and that our grief will eventually give way to a brighter future.

Perhaps Napoleon Hill sums it up best with, “The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.”

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