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snow and woods A

Today, in the Northeast, we are having a blizzard. I am blessed to be viewing it from inside my warm home office where I can enjoy a view of the woods behind our house.

Some of our tall evergreens are being pushed back and forth by the wind. They don’t seem to mind.  It appears that they know that in a month, it will be spring and life will be dramatically different.  There will be warm weather, rain showers on occasion, and sunshine.

If only we could view the storms of life in the same way. The problem is that we expect life to be nothing but smooth sailing.  When we have bumps in the road, we think, “This isn’t normal.  Something must be very wrong.”

My trees don’t think that there is anything wrong with this blizzard. It is just a natural part of the seasons.  If only we could view our occasional problems in the same way.  If only we could view problems as being a natural part of life.

That is hard to do. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life trying to prevent problems.  I’ve given a lot of mental energy to anticipating what could possibly go wrong.  And then I’ve tried to think of all the ways I can prevent these bad things from happening.

But you know what? My tactics haven’t worked all that well.  I lost my job during the recession.  I got divorced.  My wonderful dog of 16 years died two days after I left on vacation.  I haven’t been able to prevent either emotional pain or loss in my life.

However, the older I get, the more I become like the trees in my backyard. I’ve stopped expecting life to be perfect.  More importantly, I’ve stopped being mad at God when my life has been so very imperfect.  I am learning to accept occasional problems as a natural part of life, like my trees accept the occasional blizzard.

Life has storms, sunshine and seasons. My trees know this.  They don’t fight against it.  They don’t work feverishly to prevent blizzards because that would be impossible.

Yet, we do exactly that. We try to prevent blizzards.  We try to control other people so they won’t hurt us.  We try to keep our jobs by overworking ourselves, even though we could be let go due to downsizing or an economic downturn.  Some things in life, like blizzards, are completely out of our control.

This week, think about how you can be more like a tree. When we accept that problems are a natural part of life, we are able to deal with them more effectively.  We don’t get caught up in thoughts of “Woe is me,” or “Life is so unfair.”  Instead, be like a tree.  Accept that there will be snow and rain.  But also know that there will be sunny days and beautiful, starry nights.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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