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Sometimes in life, we can experience an epiphany or change so profound that it changes the very essence of who we are. While we have the ability to improve with purposeful action daily, it is often in the storms of life, that change is thrust upon us in a way imagined. It can be treacherous and painful, a feeling of hundreds of dark nights woven together eclipsing even the faintest spark of light. Then it occurs, the parting of the clouds and streams of light begin to fill our world. The lens of shiftlessness or complacency have been washed clean and a new lens of clarity appears in its place. It is only after enduring the journey does the change appear before us, it is the change that is creating a new shape with our life, sending us into new territory. It is the change that was so brutal and confounding yet the change we would not exchange even if it meant wiping away all of the memory of what came before.

Life can suck sometimes, there is no doubt about that. Sometimes we lose someone dear to us, we are in a job that doesn't honor our highest good, we have people we thought were friends make an about-face leaving us wondering and questioning what all the time meant and it hurts. We lose a job, bills are stacking up and the mountain before us looks like Everest growling and us while we limp by just trying to get through the day.

These moments are cyclical, they will rear their ugly heads again and again so it's better to find grace and acceptance and understand it is all part of the human journey. If every day was a simple joy there would be no contrast to give this all meaning, we would expect nothing less than simple. Despite the idea that people may say I want an easy life, if we didn't have the tough times, the good would have no way to shine so brightly.

So, how to use these moments as tools for change and accept them without anger and fear? We just let them roll, we honor the suck factor and trust that it all will pass, we hold on to those that love us enough to show up without conditions. We surround ourselves with smart people, we take time to go within weather meditating, prayer or practicing our faith. In the end, we can take a deep sigh and just "BE."  Western culture is a NOW results-driven culture that leaves most of us reeling and disenchanted the crap seems insurmountable even when it will clear like storm clouds in the sky.
Abraham Maslow speaks on self-realization and until we can come to terms with the ebbs and flows we have little time for the journey and growth. Giving yourself the kindness and love you bestow on others is a great way to get your bearings and let yourself breathe. If you are committed to growth you must embrace these storms. In truth, it is not for everyone, some find the day in and out movement fine. But if you are reading this, chances are you don't belong to that group.
By giving yourself a break, you release tension and stress and allow yourself to evolve into the person you are meant to be but it, like everything in life, is a choice and you can't have both. Whatever questions are sending your mind on the hamster wheel of life find a way to cease it. I found when my mind is taking over with ridiculous thoughts I say "not helpful." I watch the thought and let it come and go, thinking isn't a bad thing, it is what you do with it. Just like hard times are not the issue, it's who you let yourself become after experiencing them that matters most.


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