Dancing in the Rain, Dancing with Life
“If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.” ~Unknown
Rain can be romantic, cleansing and invigorating—mostly in movies and our imagination. Experiencing rain, on the other hand (especially when it goes on for days on end), means one thing to most of us: gray skies and dark moods.
It’s quite tempting to hide behind the grim moody skies and wallow in negativity.
We can’t avoid the rain, and we can’t change the weather. Yet we complain and wait for the sun, as if complaining could brighten the mood of the skies. Our attempts to bend reality to suit our wishes result in one thing only: suffering.
Our lives go through seasons and change, just like the weather—coldness and warmth, sunshine and rain, storms and calm, spring and fall.
We can’t avoid the rain in our life situations the same way we can’t avoid the rain from the heavens.
When we experience the heaviness and darkness of our challenges and setbacks, it’s tempting to want to hide and avoid the issue, or complain and dwell in negativity, hoping to push the rain of our challenges away.
No amount of resistance, complaining or wishing ever brought in sunshine, why do we expect it to work in our life situations?
Can we learn to dance with life when it’s raining, instead of waiting for the sunshine?
Choosing to dance
What if when it rains, we put on our shoes and dance for a few minutes? We tap our feet onto the wet grounds, we feel the splash of rain on our skin … we take it all in. We allow the rain to replenish our hearts and souls as it replenishes the earth.
Would we care then how long the rain lasts, or when we’ll see the sun again?
When we dance, we follow the rhythm of life, we open up to the aliveness of the energy coursing through our veins, we breathe deeper, the body loosens up, and the heart smiles joyously … and we feel better, even if nothing else changes.
When we dance, we affirm life, and embrace what is. And we change the only thing we can change—our perspective.
Instead of fighting the rain, we embrace the cleansing and invigorating beauty that it brings.
Dancing with life
If we wait for the sunshine to feel happy, the waiting will perpetuate more waiting.
We’ll spend the rainy and cloudy days in resistance and anticipation. When the sun shines, we rejoice … only to fear losing it—an eventuality that can’t be avoided. Then disappointment sets in with the sunset, and we revert back to waiting.
We can learn to dance (metaphorically) with the challenges and experiences that feel dark and heavy.
Every situation brings with it a message, an opportunity, or a release of some sort.
When we’re faced with difficult stormy life situations we can look for the silver lining and step out of the negative reactivity.
Let’s look at three major areas where we face our own rain.
At any given moment we can lose a loved one, a job, a home, or an opportunity.
We all fear loss of love, even if it’s unavoidable. Instead of arguing with life, we can surrender to the pain by allowing ourselves to mourn and grieve.
And as we grieve, we can dance with the loving memory and express our gratitude for the privilege of having experienced love. When the grief burns out, we lean into the void the loss has left behind and allow new possibilities to emerge.
When it comes to material loss (job, possession, or opportunity), we can dance with rejection, possessiveness, and emptiness. In the space of loss lies opportunity.
Life situations put limits on our abilities—physical, mental or emotional.
We may feel limited because of an illness, or lack of money, being too young or too old, or feeling stuck in what appears to be a helpless situation.
We can dance with the giant within—the indestructible and larger than life spirit inhabiting the body. We then transcend illness and transform our lives.
We can sway with the lightness and freedom of being broke, and not being weighed down by the responsibility of a job or possessions.
We can tango with stuckness, opening the inner mental gates and allowing creativity and ingenuity to guide our steps.
We all experience dissatisfaction in one form of another. We may regret certain actions, fear not living up to our potential, or feel we’re not living enough and missing out. Those feelings eat at us and cause more suffering that compounds the unhappiness.
We can instead dance with regret. Hold hands with our mistakes, and embrace our humanness. In forgiveness and letting go, we free ourselves from the shackles of self-imposed pain.
We can waltz with the fear of missing out. Why not tap dance to the beat of failure and judgment?
Angry at the injustices of the world? Let’s dance with anger and life’s imperfections. Accepting that life is not perfect (and never was) will shift our attention from what’s wrong with the world to what’s right and what we can do with love and kindness.
Sometimes dancing in the rain is not an option. When the wrath of Mother Nature unleashes itself onto us, the only option is to seek shelter, and trust that all will be okay—eventually.
When faced with insurmountable life shattering typhoons and floods, we can seek shelter and patiently wait. We can accept a helping hand with grace and gratitude. And we can trust.
Trust is the dance of our soul with destiny, where life leads and we follow.