There are many things in life we can control. But time in nature quickly relieves us of the notion we can control everything. There’s much wisdom in learning how to accept those things we cannot control without giving up in resignation.
For instance, complaining about the weather doesn’t change it. It rains when it rains, and the sun doesn’t wait on our permission to shine. But this doesn’t mean we’re passive victims to the various patterns of weather. While we cannot control the weather, we can adjust how we show up and dress for that day’s weather accordingly. This is how we weather the storm – equipping ourselves to remain grounded whatever comes our way.
And this holds throughout our life and relationships as well.
For example, we cannot control our wife’s emotions. And while we might want blue skies and sunshine after a long day at work, there might be thunderstorms and rain when we get home. Again, complaining doesn’t change this reality, nor does “fairness” factor into it. It is what it is, and now we must simply focus on the choices we can make.
Of course, we should be quick to make amends if we’ve done something to make her upset. But it’s also possible her emotional experience has nothing to do with us. And trying to change her or prematurely fix the problem might just make things worse. Often our best course of action is simply to weather the storm – to be there with her without allowing her emotions to take us out.
And a similar dance might be called for with our friends and coworkers, social movements, various public policies, and the like. Whatever it looks like, this is a decision not to waste our energy complaining about things we cannot control. Instead, it’s accepting what is and adjusting how we show up accordingly.
We simply frustrate ourselves when we expect the rain not to get us wet.
In the end, bring an umbrella when the rain storms of life come. While you cannot control the weather, you can decide how you want to show up.