Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stormy Weather

In Melbourne they say if you're not happy with the weather, just wait a few minutes.  They have 4 seasons in every day. 

That's the thing about weather -- it passes through. 

It reminds me of my emotional life at times.  You can get so angry, or upset, or distressed about something -- and then a few hours later it's all blown over, like it was never there.  

When you're in the storm, it's like driving onto a packed highway --  you have absolutely no indication that anything is going to clear up. It could be this nightmare forever.  And then, all of a sudden you turn a corner and it's smooth sailing.

In the thick of it, I don't know about you, but I immediately go into a sort of primal mode, hunting for some solution that will make me feel better --- venting, raging, fighting, eating (O Lord, please, may I fill this hole with chocolate?).  And that's understandable, but often not necessarily helpful (though if it's Cadbury Old Gold dark chocolate, it's pretty much always going to help at least a little).  Someone over the summer said to me, the damage I do in sending a raging response email is directly proportional to how good I feel in sending it.  The sweeter I feel, the more the damage.  Totally true, isn't it?

Maybe pain, discomfort are meant to be "savored" just like all the good things -- that is, experienced without running away, even wallowed in.  Not that that attempt at acceptance is going to make it any easier, but it renders us more grounded, and less able to blown and buffeted by our need to overcome the discomfort, like the damned before strong winds in Dante's Inferno.

The safe haven we look for -- a lot of the time, it comes to us, rather than us to it.

And speaking of Stormy Weather --  ladies and gentlemen, Miss Ella Fitzgerald.


Shelly said...

Indeed, pain/suffering/discomfort can teach us a lot about ourselves. They are part of our human existence - if you are able to learn how to sit with the feelings, relax into the discomfort of the moment, they become not only bearable but "enjoyable" in the sense of knowing that pain is often necessary for growth (if you let it be). I'm not saying you should go out and find a storm :-), but when one comes, accept it and settle into being in it as you go through it. So much energy used in trying to go around or over, which can be used for growth if you just use it for that end. Just my thoughts - FWIW.

Thanks for this reflection!

Jim McDermott, S.J. said...

Good words, Shelly. Thanks for them.