There are times in our lives that life presents a cascade of scenarios that we have to deal with or adjust to. What is important is to stay focused and recognize the lessons that appear when it feels as if you are sinking under the down pour.
1. Rain provides growth.
When you are going through difficult situations, think about your past when you encountered previous challenges. Remember how those situations did not kill you (although it might have felt like it) but you recognized your strength. In my experience, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. I realized at my mother in law’s funeral that it is so easy to sweat the small stuff. My mother in law had a difficult life. She was disowned by her family for marrying a black man and never returned to Japan. For over 50 years, she was disconnected from her people and yet, she was able to create such beauty through her three children, her knitting, and her gardens. Her life enriched my experience and yet, helped me to realize that no matter what we go through, our focus can determine our success. She chose to focus on her new life instead of the pain of her past.
2. There are times when you need to be covered.
There are so many umbrellas that surround us in our lives. Our relationships can serve as umbrellas to help during the downpours of our lives. I know when I am struggling, my faith, my family and my friends are available to serve as sounding boards. According to an Inc article by Rhett Power entitled, “7 Ways Successful People Build Exceptional Professional Relationships”, people who are successful are kind and thoughtful. Treat others well so that in your time of need, you have the support that you need in order to have those umbrellas available.
3. The rain does stop and the sun comes out.
Know that change is inevitable. No matter what you are going through, good or bad, you can trust that change will come. We all experience transitions in our life. Abigail Brenner states, “There are six recognizable stages that accompany transition: loss, uncertainty, discomfort, insight, understanding, and integration. The accompanying emotions for these stages can run the gamut, depending on the individual and how they perceive and negotiate transitions. Essentially, the energy that has powered an outdated role, status, or persona needs to be released in order for it to be available for what you are to become.” The filter—positive or negative– that you use to view the rain will determine your ability to endure the challenge. Change doesn't always feel good but if you understand that there is an end and that through the process, your thinking, your behaviors or even your life could be transformed.
Despite the challenges I've faced, I see rays of sunlight peeking through. I have learned so many lessons that will help me when I face the next storm or will allow me to help others in my life when they are going through similar difficulties.
In the meantime, I will look forward to and enjoy the peace in knowing that things are getting better!
About the author
Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew
Partnership Broker and Relational Leadership junkie. Connector. Author. Speaker. Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle.
Froswa' Booker-Drew, PhD is a Network Weaver who believes relationships are the key to our personal, professional and organizational growth. She has been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets, due to an extensive background in leadership, nonprofit management, partnership development, training and education. She is currently the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. Formerly the National Community Engagement Director for World Vision, she served as a catalyst, partnership broker, and builder of the capacity of local partners in multiple locations across the US to improve and sustain the well-being of children and their families.
She was a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that follows a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. She is the recipient of several honors including semi-finalist for the SMU TED Talks in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and was awarded Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Froswa’ graduated with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change with a focus on social capital, diverse women and relational leadership. She attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and has completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change based on the work of Kegan and Lahey of Harvard. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations. She is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last. Froswa’ was a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. She was a Post Doctoral Fellow at Antioch University and an adjunct at the University of North Texas-Dallas. She is a contributor for several publications around the world including as an advice columnist for professional women in Business Woman Media.