Storms and Oaks

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Today I read a quote that I’d never heard before, “Storms make oaks take deeper roots.” I’ve heard other quotes that reflect a similar concept, thoughts like “that which does not kill us makes us stronger,” and “no pain, no gain.” In essence, this idea offers that in the heart of our trials lies an opportunity to grow, and, that when we look for the lesson in our tribulations, we emerge stronger and wiser. A related notion is echoed in sentiments such as “every cloud has a silver lining,” and in the promise that “the darkest hour is just before dawn.” Here, we’re reminded that there is light in the midst of darkness, and that when we look for it, we often can find joy and solace within times of pain and sorrow. In Jason Mraz’s song “Life is Wonderful”, he sings, “It takes some old to make you young, it takes some cold to know the sun…it takes some dust to have it polished.” These lyrics suggest that not only do our losses strengthen us, they also help us appreciate our gains that much more. Often, when conflict and difficulty arises in life, we face it with an attitude of “Why me?” or “I can’t handle this.” In approaching our tough times with such an attitude, we use all of our energy to resist the situation, actually causing ourselves more pain and suffering. Imagine how different the hard times might be if for every conflict, we asked ourselves, “What does this situation have to teach me?” or “how can I grow from this?” Today, I urge you to view your challenges as gifts designed to help you take deeper roots in your own life. When faced with troubled times, ask yourself, “what does this experience have to offer me?” In doing so, you can then use your energies proactively to create something meaningful out of times of crisis and loss.

By Dr. Marla Cohen 06/03/2007 04:44 PM

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