the grand canyon

A few moments ago, the man and I sat on our couch, gently speaking to Lucy and petting her, as the lights flickered and finally went out and the storm outside raged.  The lightning flashed and the thunder cracked and the sound of the rain against the windows pattered rhythmically.  Our little girl was shaking like a leaf, eyes wide and head darting to and fro as the lightning intermittently filled the room.

Our power is back now, and the sky is a sherbet shade of orange through the trees.  Lucy has settled herself in, no longer shaking in complete terror.

Something my yoga teacher said today during mediation really struck a chord, and the storm this evening sort of – in an unrelated, yet somewhat related way – reinforced it.  Marissa read a quote from her teacher’s teacher (and I won’t insult anyone by attempting to remember his name because I would inevitably get it wrong) which distilled the idea of struggle.  People want life to be happy and full of sunshine and light.  But what actually defines us, defines our character, are the struggles we all face and how we choose to deal with them and work through them.

I’d heard this before.  But it never had as much relevance to me as it did today.

Each of us faces challenges throughout life.  And none of us can definitely say that my battle is more difficult, or more debilitating or more defining that someone else’s challenge.  Social media can tell me in one day that a friend from college has a premie baby, a friend from high school as a teething child and hasn’t slept in weeks, another friend’s one-year-old son is staying in the hospital overnight with a staph infection.  An old co-worker’s husband left.   None of those things are comparable.  We all wake up to our own burdens every day.  Like the old saying goes, if everyone threw their problems onto a huge pile, more than inevitably, you’d choose to pick up your own compared to someone else’s.

The first thought I had when Marissa was speaking was that the perseverance that one has through a struggle is sort of like the perseverance of the water that -over millennia- formed the Grand Canyon.  And that perseverance made one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.

I guess it’s all about perspective, y’know?

Time changes everything.

There are a lot of clichés but I’ll refrain from listing them all.  At the heart of most clichés is a nugget of truth; possibly even wisdom.

In the end, we all get to choose how to handle our life’s journey and how we choose to tackle each obstacle in our path.  Those choices speak to who we are more than so many other things.  So each day, when faced with something unexpected or difficult, I hope that the choices I make reinforce the type of person I hope to be.