“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Last week I began to share a story with a client I’ll call Sally. Just a few short words in, I found myself welling up with tears. My reaction shocked me a bit because the story I was telling is years old and seemingly a non-emotional one.
I quickly realized the rise of emotion was a clear indication how truly profound the experience I was about to share was for me. By putting myself back in that space, I was once again overcome by the magnitude of what had transpired.
To rewind a bit, Sally has been struggling with a serious autoimmune health issue. Her issue is one that will resolve over time, but having dealt with substantial amounts of drug side-effects, falls, hospital stays, ER visits, body trauma, massive hair loss and a vast amounts of doctors, referrals and information, it’s safe to say she is tired.
Our conversation started with Sally sharing something her husband stated a few nights ago. He said, “I am convinced we will see blue sky again”. Sally’s recall of that statement catapulted me back to the very moment I began to see the blue sky in the midst of my own storm and I shared my story.
Several years back, I went through a horrifically painful situation I refer to as “my tsunami”. It knocked me flat on my ass and left me crawling through life a shell of the person I had once been. I was petrified, hopeless, frozen and anxiety-ridden. I had set course to heal and regain my life, but the shift seemed far out of reach.
I just wanted to feel normal again. I wanted my life back.
I was desperate for a quick fix, a magic pill, an easy answer – but nothing came. I continued to trudge blindly through my storm praying for it to be over and for my life to return to status quo.
The wait seemed like forever.
Until one day…
Yes, I sang.
I’ve always been a singer. By no means do I sound good or would I ever even attempt karaoke, but I looooove to sing. I sing everywhere, all day long no matter who is listening, what I sound like or who it embarrasses (i.e. my children).
I sing when I’m content.
During my tsunami I hadn’t uttered a note or even hummed a tune.
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Until one wondrous day a small phrase escaped as barely a whisper through my lips. It was so foreign to my current disposition it actually startled me.
However, something about that moment woke me up.
For mere seconds I had caught a glimpse of my old self. The woman I thought I’d never see again. In that tiny moment my fear was gone and my heart was open.
I immediately recognized something was different, something was changing. The weight of my burden was ever so slightly beginning to lift. I was healing.
Wait a minute.
I was healing!
That moment of song was a speck of blue sky shining through my storm. It was a glimmer of hope, a clearing, a promise of something better to come.
With tears rolling down both our cheeks, Sally smiled and nodded in agreement. She understood completely.
Sally’s glimpse came in the form of Abbey Lea tomatoes.
A week prior, Sally was food shopping at the grocery store when she spotted her favorite Abbey Lea tomatoes. She was so delighted to see her beloved Abbey Lea’s back in season! As insignificant as it may sound, for a moment she felt restored to the joyful Sally she was prior to becoming sick.
For a moment the world felt right again.
If Sally had been in the physical and emotional shape she was in a short month ago, she wouldn’t have noticed the Abbey Lea’s or even cared. Truthfully, she probably wouldn’t have been well enough for a trip to the grocery store.
The sheer fact that she was at the store and able to notice, care and feel restored in that moment was a clear indication something was different, something was changing.
Slowly, but surely, Sally is healing!
It was a beautiful speck of blue sky shining through her storm. It was a glimmer of hope, a clearing, a promise of something better to come.
It’s so incredibly important to notice and celebrate the little moments when the weight of our burdens feel lifted and we return to the self we once knew so well. They may only be miniscule moments with intervals in between, but they serve a much higher purpose and deserve the recognition of hope they bring.
Our moments of blue sky are precursors for what is soon to come.
Unfortunately, they don’t mean we are completely free yet… We might still experience ups and downs on our path to recovery.
However, blue sky moments serve a very powerful purpose: Awareness – an awareness that change and healing are headed our way.
As Thich Nhat Hanh states in the quote above it is much easier to bear hardship when we believe in a better tomorrow.
When we are given a ray of hope, we must seize it, grasp it in our hands, recognize the value it holds, put it on the altar and believe in it every day!
This is the value of our blue sky moments.