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Learning to dance in the rain


I sign my emails - 'Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.' 


This statement really spoke to me when a friend gave me it on a card. I love it because of the combination of optimism and realism. Storms do come and they can be hard work. And they can be weathered and made something of - dancing in the rain can be fun, even though you do get wet. Even if you get wet you can always dry off later.


It also speaks to my belief that we do have some control over how we view the world and therefore how we respond to it.  We can choose to be terrified of storms, often this is because those around us, our primary caretakers, were.  Or because we have learnt from a young age that the world does not feel like a safe pale to be.   The message we get is that ‘storms’ are an uncontrollable force. Which in nature they are. The storms in recent years have shown us all how powerful water can be and that it is pretty unstoppable.


An alternative is to take a view that the storms of life are a source of energy, and go with them rather than fighting against them. Our response can be to accept that force and find ways of benefiting from it and enjoying rather than trying to change it. I think the therapy process can be like that sometimes, we need to learn new habits of optimism and to find some assurance that we do have some control over our lives.


To be able to do this we need to build up an amount of resilience, so that know we have the resources to counter the storms that life can throw at us.  Resilience can be developed and maintained a number of ways.  By taking care of ourselves; by paying real attention to the good things; so they are a memory that can use as a resources later; by paying attention to the present rather then frightening ourselves with an unforeseeable future; by getting involved with our family friends our community-giving to and receiving from others; by paying attention to the things we do have some agency around rather than focusing on things beyond our control.