As a child, I often heard people say, “After the storm comes the calm.” The belief is that a turmoil, whether we are talking about psychological or physical, can only last for a finite time, and after this finite time things will be calmer, better. This way of thinking is supposed to lift our spirits and give us hope. Hope that sometime in the future things will be better. But, think about it, why must this be the case? Why should we wait patiently for some calmness to come after we endure a full storm?
We have a choice not to surrender to our mental turmoils and struggles
Which one would you prefer, calmness after the storm, or calmness throughout and after the storm? The answer seems obvious, yet we often choose to wait until after our struggles are over to allow that sense of peace to sink in. Why would we do this?
The main issue we have is ourselves, and what we believe to be true. We think that being calm while struggling or going through a problem is not an option. We think it is beyond our control. But be honest to yourself, who chooses how you feel? Do I? Your friends? Your neighbor? Or is it you?
It is you. No one else can force you to have a certain feeling. If you don’t like someone, you won’t like them until your thoughts about that person change. You are the only one who will make that happen, when you feel ready to change the way you think about such person.
The same is true about our problems. When was the last time you stressed about a problem? Do you think everyone else would have stressed as much as you did under that situation? Definitely not. So, why would someone else be able to go through the same situation you went through, but have a different experience? Why would Mother Theresa be able to go and help, help, and keep helping, without stopping, while the majority of us won’t even make the first step to help our neighbor in need because we think it’s not going to be good?
The answer is, we all choose what we focus our attention to. If I am told that I must spend the next week at the hospital because of a health problem, I could be glad that I will receive professional healthcare before the situation is worse, or I could be angry that I won’t be able to go to dinner for my friend’s birthday that Saturday night. Although both thoughts will probably be present simultaneously in any person with such a situation, each person will choose how much they focus on the missed birthday dinner vs. receiving proper healthcare.
We, as individuals, have an option. I am not saying that you should care less about your friends and feel good about missing their birthday dinner, but no amount of complaining and personal sorrow will make the dinner taste better for anyone that is able to go, nor will it improve your moods. So we must find a way to deal with problems.
Find a way to focus your attention to the positive side of a situation. You may have to be creative in order to find the positive side of some situations, but once you do you will have a much more pleasant experience. This will allow you to improve the lives of those around you, and will allow you to feel in control of things. Wouldn’t you like that?