Friday, January 6, 2017

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Credit: Public Domain
Obstacles Offer Opportunities

Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. ~Michael Josephson

While many Americans are frustrated, fearful, and even full of anger following the U.S. Presidential Election, 2017 was a tough year for me in another way, personally. As I've already mentioned here on Writ of Whimsy, my younger sister, Karla Snider, unexpectedly passed away in November. So while I, too, am upset by the election results, losing a loved one is an even more painful experience, to say the least.

So how can we all make the best of 2017?

For me, it comes back to a principle I learned years ago after a devastating life experience - faith. Now to those of you who do not adhere to any kind of religion, or philosophy, I'm not speaking of the "go to church" kind of faith. I'm speaking of something very different.

Over the holidays my husband and I happened to have an insightful conversation with our son, David, and his wife, Jessica. Somehow we got on the subject that our lives, and the life of our nation, experience seasons, just like the natural world. It would be ludicrous to believe that we'll always experience sunny weather - especially in the Pacific Northwest! So why do we think our lives should always be full of ease and happiness? We must have faith in each season.

Seasons are a part of every aspect of life, whether we like it or not. Understanding that concept is the key to staying afloat through the tough times. During the challenging times it's important to find the positive amidst the pain. Every season presents us with gifts.

Finding opportunities amidst the obstacles in life is not easy, but it's the only way we can continue to move forward. Otherwise, the first storm we encounter will submerge us in doubt and depression.

If you're particularly politically minded, the current state of our country might be causing you severe stress right now. But it's important to understand that we were all put on this planet for a purpose. If you're a writer, make your writing so shine that the readers of your books will be uplifted and inspired. If you're an activist, by all means, march; protest; stand up for human rights. But, be sure to be who you are.

This scripture from Ecclesiastes/Kohelet says it best:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The thing is, it might be my time for one behavior, but for someone else, a time for a different behavior - or approach - to what we're experiencing. Let's support one another, and be at peace with one another this year - as much as is possible. Speak with kindness.

Look for opportunities amidst the obstacles - it is possible.

Photo Credit: Power of Positivity