I am always amazed at the synchronicity of the universe. I’ll admit I don’t always see the “signs” and often my brain is too busy to even hear what is happening around me. Last week, I heard a story on the radio about trees. I have tried to go back and find the source of this story and have googled for days to no avail. I was only half listening, but they were discussing an experiment where they tried to grow trees without any exposure to “outside elements.” They believed that if they grew trees within a protected environment they could control the health and overall strength of the trees. They provided all the nutrients they would need to grow a healthy tree; water, sunshine and vitamins. In the beginning, the trees flourished and then slowly they began to fall over and die. They didn’t understand what was happening as there was no wind or negative forces to cause these trees to fall over. As they began to dig deeper their research showed that the “elements” are what actually make the tree strong. It turns out that they need the constant pressure of the wind and the outside elements in nature in order to grow healthy and strong.
They learn to be resilient through the storms.
A few days later, my middle daughter was discussing her job at the boutique where she works. The owner had called a meeting earlier that day to prepare for the holidays. Lately, this cluster of boutiques has had a lot of turnover. There had been talk about the owners, the long hours, the protocol, etc..as reasons for the staffing issue. The owner stood up and basically gave them a little life lesson wrapped in retail.
In life, we all want to be happy and love what we do. If you are good at what you do and you take pride in it, you will be happy. If you are finding yourself struggling at something don’t just quit. Put all of your effort into getting better. Work at the part that is hard for you and before long it will be easier and maybe more enjoyable. If you find that you are better, but you still don’t enjoy it, look for something different. He finished by telling them it’s the hard stuff that makes us better at what we do.
Suddenly, I could see a forest of trees as my daughter relayed this story to me. Trees blowing in the wind, some on the verge of breaking under the pressure and some on the ground already succumbing to the constant battering.
I told my daughter the story about the trees and listened as she began to make the connection to her own life. It’a amazing how things change when you perceive your struggles as opportunities for growth rather than just something to get through. It sparked a conversation about what her struggles might be teaching her. Now, understand we were talking about when life throws us a little resistance, not a full on storm. Nobody sees a storm as an opportunity when they are in it; they just want to survive it and get to the other side.
Resistance is tedious. It can feel like constant pressure; like running into the wind, but then we make a turn and we have that same wind at our back and suddenly life feels easier. We need to meet resistance in order to grow, to be stronger and healthier.
Resistance is our teacher.
Today, you may be waking to a plethora of struggles. You may not feel any gratitude for what life is throwing at you right now and fear you will break under the pressure. I urge you to keep running into that resistance. The wind is going to change and you will be stronger for it.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G