You Cannot Escape the Storm Inside 0f You

Lying on a yoga mat in my bedroom, I gazed up at the window. Through the cracked blinds, I could see the sunlight through the trees. A gentle breeze was creating a dance among the leaves — as though it formed a melody in celebration of its own allure. It was a beautiful day to be alive.

I stepped outside and began to admire the abundance of green grass. I knew the same source of abundance also resided within me. I admired all of the flowers for as far as my eyes could see. I knew that the maker of their aroma, their symphony of colors and each perfectly-constructed petal had also created me. We were children of the same playground. But, in that moment, none of that mattered. Whirling inside of me, there was a raging storm. And I was drowning. Deep within me, there was a truth that told me I knew better than to sink into a state of such discontentment and self-loathing, yet I could not leave.

I was lost inside of my own delusion – an unrelenting storm cloud. In reality, I was an infinitely powerful creature, yet denied myself of this strength. I could have thrived in that moment, yet I believed I was a victim of childhood tragedy and an abusive relationship. I could have been bursting with enthusiasm for life, yet I was consumed by shame. I could have been swirling in a funnel of laughter and celebration, yet I was spinning in a cyclone of despair. I could have been running with the wind, yet I was lying on the floor growing  bruises. I was picking my sores, asking that they multiply. I had the potential to be a mighty warrior, but somewhere along the way I came to believe I was capable of nothing more than crawling cowardly into a corner and covering my ears from the sound of the roaring thunder.

There was nothing wrong with my luck. There was no external hex over my life. Although I had experienced some unfortunate circumstances, my life was not short of blessings. I was surrounded by mountains of love, yet I had focused my gaze on every dirt-kicking low. I had allowed life’s misfortunes to reshape my opinion of myself and of the world, and I had become a victim of nothing other than my own poisonous thoughts.

So, if you are scratching your head and wondering why you continue to find yourself in the same storm day after day or year after year, in the same kind of relationship and in the same loop of dysfunctional patterns, it’s time to stop splashing around in mud puddles. Figure out the role you have played in making it rain.

This I know: You can visualize having the home of your dreams and work to bring it into fruition. You can move thousands of miles away from all who have offended you, making a new tribe of friends. You can create an empire of wealth or whatever you conceive as being the highest achievement of your dreams. But if you lack harmony within, you will still find yourself in chaos once you arrive there. Geography is not the answer. Relationships and riches aren’t either.

It doesn’t matter how your bank account or LinkedIn profile reads. It doesn’t matter what designer labels you adorn yourself with or how many people shout your name. You can sail the most colored seas while enjoying the most lavish amenities, but you will never remedy what is going on outside without first fixing what is going on inside. There will be no peace and no permanent change if the same lawbreaker continues making all of the rules. You cannot run from your mandated captain. You cannot escape the storm inside of you.

‘Drama’ Only Follows Those Who Create It

Within you exists two opponents: A maker of storms and a maker of sunshine. Whomever you allow to take the reigns will determine the nature of your fate. Both must exist because we live in a world of opposition. We need this polarity to know and experience beauty. If you were never asked to face a storm,  you would have no concept of the glory of the sun on your face.

Have you ever noticed that those who make the most excuses in life are the ones who never seem to “get it right”? Consider the most unsuccessful and discontent person you know. Spend five minutes considering your most recent conversations with them and you will, without much thought or effort, be able to attach to them a string of their most famous excuses and complaints. Someone else is almost always to blame for their chaos, misfortune and tardiness. They are always a victim of some injustice or catastrophe – something always beyond the realm of their control.

Perhaps everyone in their family mistreats them, their friends always end up being “crazy,” their significant others are a string of disappointments and none of their jobs ever seem to work out well. Their every financial trouble can be attributed to nothing more than bad deals, bad timing, bad luck. Of course, none of it is ever any fault of their own… right?

Now shift your mind to the most abundant and prosperous person you know. You will likely have to strain in order to come up with any of their excuses at all. They just don’t make them.

So, How Do I Make This Storm Stop?

If you want to make the storm calm, you must first stop denying that you are the maker of the rain. This does not discount that you may have been plagued with unwanted circumstances outside of your control, but you have chosen how to respond to each them.

Someone else may be partly responsible for the shaping of who you grew up to be, but it’s your responsibility to reset your climate. You are the screenwriter and the casting director of your life. It’s your responsibility to determine whether the backdrop will consist of a torrential downpour or a forecast of sunshine.

Growing up, you may have been delivered messages that were harmful to your self-esteem, to the forming healthy relationships or to the acceptance of who you are, yet you possess the control to clean every message from the closet of your mind and refill every crevice with whatever contents you choose. You have unequivocal control over your beliefs – the very determinate of whether you drift or thrive.

No one is going to ride in and rescue you from all of your problems. No one can make your storm clouds miraculously pass – no one, darling, but you.

Lacey Johnson

Madam Wonder: Founding Editor

Lacey Johnson is an award-winning editor, essayist and journalist who earned her degree from Belmont University in 2011. She has worked with a broad range of celebrities and entrepreneurs — including the likes of Betsey Johnson, Deepak Chopra, Shark Tank's Daymond John and Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson. She is editor-in-chief for The Connect magazine, and her work can be read in a variety of print and digital media sources including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day, Mirabella, PopSugar, and others. With a deep intrigue for human beings, and fiery passion for smacking her readers in the face with the truth, she writes and reports boldly about topics that challenge the status quo — in the realms of love and relationships, popular culture, travel, spirituality, women’s issues and the nuances of a fulfilling life. She is also deep in the process of co-authoring her first book, which is a gutsy exploration of the illusions of fame, power and success, told through narratives involving some of the people the world most idolizes.

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