Sometimes it feels like we are experiencing a series of disasters on a personal and global level. We might feel inundated by these tragedies, finding it difficult to process the death toll and all those who have become homeless or victims of human cruelty. As a result, we absorb the negativity and transfer it to our daily lives in subtle ways. Maybe we are more irritable or pessimistic about our work. Maybe we are eating more sugary snacks and exercising less – we are so tired of all this. Many of us who have generously contributed to help the victims are now depleted both materially and emotionally. Not to mention those of us who have become desensitized or hopeless.

However, after a June of unremitting rain in the Northeast, the winds of change have brought back the sun. My neighbors are pumping out their basements and taking stock of what was damaged and what miraculously survived. Many of us are scratching our heads, for we can’t remember the last time we experienced such wild weather. During the heavy rainfall I kept telling people to cheer up and even broke into a verse from Annie, “The sun will come out tomorrow.” I think most everyone wanted to put a muzzle on my mouth; they couldn’t see beyond the dark skies. Yet we who are above ground or should I say above water have so much to be grateful for. If all that rain were snow… Let me point out that you don’t have to shovel rain!

We can learn how to manage our stress levels from these wild weather patterns. Life is a series of obstacles that we have to sweep away or climb over, one at a time, to clear the path. Things will break down, break apart and we will rebuild as we rescue amazing things from the wreckage. Sometimes we have to relocate, leaving the familiar behind, letting go of our past hurts. Who knows for the new place we move to might prove to be the best yet? In addition, you raise your stress threshold to deal with the next problem. You now have the experience that you can do it.

So the next time there is a hurricane, an economic downturn, or a flu epidemic, strengthen yourself beforehand and get ready to give birth to yourself again. When the good times roll, don’t feel guilty about being happy. Enjoy every moment you have. If people are starving and dying in another part of the world, going hungry won’t help them. It is our moral obligation to be happy. Take your positive energy and help those less fortunate:

  • Spend less time on the mystical why of things, and more on the concrete things you can do to improve your situation.
  • Use this rough time in your life to activate your compassion and extend a helping hand to others. This will empower you to deal with your own problems.
  • Don’t ever feel self-conscious about expressing your happiness or having fun. When we are happy, we don’t have to wait for the other shoe to drop. Joy is spiritual.
  • Perhaps, we won’t get to see a better world. However, we can become a better person.
  • Cultivate and practice your relaxation rituals during the good times, so they will become a reflex during the rough times.
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