“Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the Jasmine in my mind.” Did I lose you with an unfamiliar reference? If so, for all you one genre and era music listeners, these are lyrics from the feel good 1971 hit Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts. I remember this playing on the radio driving around town with my dad in addition to nostalgic album sets being sold on tv commercials in the eighties. The eponymous song always made me feel happy despite the fact it wasn’t particularly a favorite of mine.
There was nothing like music that could immediately shift my perspective even higher when its summer, the temperature is above 80 degrees and your doing a supply run with Dad for the family cookout. On a day like this, you feel as if nothing could break your happy. Life is good, abundant, and above all else, protected. It was during these carefree days of my childhood that my imagination would run wild. My dreams would be like a limitless cup of sweet, lemon iced tea that never seemed to bitter down to the last sip.
As an adult these moments of bliss often occur. There is however, the realities of adulting and all the mistakes, royal screw ups, and most devastating of circumstances that abruptly stops the vinyl record with an ear deafening scratch. In a matter of a day, your whole life can change for the worse. What you knew of it, and even of yourself, has been forever altered and you’re left with two choices, sink or swim!
My truth was that I thought who I was, my accomplishments, and self worth, were only tied to moments of happiness. My constant optimism and positive vibes were present on the days of a beautiful summer breeze but I had absolutely no clue who I was when the days were cold and dreary. While weathering a personal storm, it may seem unbearable and very much like an eternal winter.
There are lessons in the life challenges that completely pull the rug of security, and all that you know to be true from underneath you. It can be difficult to decipher them, but if you’re willing to humble yourself, and stay present in the “mess”, you can unlock your true potential. You’ll be able to see what you’re made of by overcoming what took you down a few notches instead of relying on a false sense of empowerment rooted in the moments when everything was smooth sailing.
In a world where nothing is certain and who we are is forever evolving, here are 4 reasons why your life has to implode before you can truly know who you are and what you’re made of:
1. Prepearation For The Life You Want. – To go after your dreams with as much fervor as you do planning a Mediterranean cruise, it will require an unrecognizable version of yourself. You won’t like him at first, but that’s ok, he will GET IT DONE!
2. Knowing That No One is Coming To Save You. – There is not a person on the planet that lives in your head. They can’t see, or may not understand your vision so why would they fight for your dreams if you’re not willing to. This is a tough pill to swallow but expecting a savior to ride in on white horse is not a boss move. If anything, it can imply that your desires aren’t worth the risk of falling apart and piecing yourself back together. Furthermore, you’ll get used to needing saving and settling for the safe bet.
3. The Realization That You Already Possess The Right Tools. – Waiting for the right circumstances to make your move means that you’re completely ok with making excuses for not fully living. The blessing isn’t the job promotion, new car, or the new man, it’s being aware that you woke up each morning to bust your ass to get what you deserve.
4. You’ll Develop The Skillset To Create Joy Despite The Madness. – This can be a challenge for sure. When your whole life is going up in smoke, the ability to focus on finding the joy right now instead of waiting for a person, event, or the weekend to motivate you will allow you to appreciate the little things. It is often the tiniest forms of gratitude that hold the biggest potential for even greater fulfillment.
Mary J. Blige has a line in her song “My Life” that reads, “If you’ve looked at my life and see what I see.” Maybe it’s time you start visualizing an existence for yourself beyond the storm. Allow yourself feel the hard rain as it pours down upon you, but just for a moment. Take a deep breath, remember who you are, what you have, and what is possible. It takes practice I will attest to that, but in time, finding strength during life’s hurdles can feel as good as a summer breeze.