I have come to believe that everything in my experience is there for a reason; that it is part of MY creation – an outward reflection of my internal experience. So, for instance, if someone or something is getting on my nerves I know that it creates discomfort in me because it touches a part of me that is similar (I am often momentarily further irritated by this realization). In other words, if someone’s controlling nature is getting on my nerves I usually look for and find a part of me or a situation where I am currently being controlling. Matthew 7:3 explains this beautifully, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but you do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Once I address and deal with this irritating or concerning part of me the level of discomfort or irritation I feel regarding the external person or situation dissipates. Therefore, they were never my problem; I am my only project, problem, and solution. WHAT?! I’m saying I can’t blame anyone else for my irritation or discomfort?! CRAP. AND…at the same time, it’s SO EMPOWERING. Stay with me here. If it’s only my job to keep me happy and no one else’s, and no one else is my problem then I can’t be a victim whose level of worth or mood depends on things outside of myself. Shew! What a relief. I can detach and get off the emotional roller-coaster that exists when our worth resides in other’s beliefs about who we are or certain circumstances being in place (having enough money, kids, the right job, the right car, a spouse, the grade, etc.)
You’re probably asking yourself, “What the BEEP does this have to do with a tornado rainbow?” I’m getting there! I promise. [...]
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and busy growing my own private practice helping people live to their fullest potential. This, I’ve found, takes a tremendous amount of confidence and cojones. In the last 3 years I’ve become aware of so many beliefs I have that are incongruent with success. For instance, when I see people my age driving a Lexus SUV I automatically think, [guffaw] "Her parents must have bought her that” or “She must be in debt up to her eyeballs!” I demonize the very thing I want.
It’s become clear to me lately that I feel passionate about working with families and specifically parents and children. Looking back at my personal, school, and work pasts it seems a somewhat serendipitous path leading straight toward this conclusion complete with all signs except blinking neon arrows. And now that I have children I feel more qualified to do such work, but I’ve been getting in my own way. I have pediatricians asking for my contact information, but I believe instead that if I were to get my act together regarding this aspect of my business (cards, brochures, networking, etc.) and present it to possible referral sources that, cue whine, “I would just be a waste of their time.” You know you have that witch that lives inside you, too: The one that growls, “You’re not good enough”; the one that hisses, “You’re not doing enough”; the one that screams, “YOU SUCK!”; the part of you that keeps you from being who you really are and tapping into all you could be. Sometimes I wish she'd just shut up.
So, what do I get in my universe?? My husband is launching a new and brilliant business venture and the only thing getting in his way is him. It’s very clear to me. His worth is very clear, and it's very irritating he can't see it like I do. I offer brilliant advice :-) and he can’t hear it because he’s not ready. So I stand back patiently and wait until he can hear me. I meet him where he is. He sees the doom and gloom. He’s scared. So I stand back and act scared with him and then gently wonder out loud if the glass might really be half-full; if he might really be brilliant. And every time we do this he believes he and his idea is brilliant for longer and longer periods of time before the part of him that’s scared swoops back in and convinces him it’s too scary and (cue growl) that he can’t do it. I only am clear that this is what he’s doing because it is MY reality; he’s my reflection. My irritation with him is really my own irritation with myself.
All of this came to a head this week when I realized to a new extent where I was getting in my own way, not listening to myself, and refusing to believe I had something unique and valuable to offer parents and children. And then (dum, dum, dummmmmm) the tornado rainbow.
We were driving home from trying a new Mexican restaurant. I insisted on cheating on our family favorite, Dos Primos in North O’Fallon, and tried a new place in New Melle off HWY Z. On the way home the scene was hard to describe. It was not raining hard, but rain was coming sideways hitting the left side of the car. It was bright, especially on our left side. I said casually and a bit sarcastically, “It looks like the edge of the storm. This is where tornadoes happen.” In the distance I saw a bright flash of light. It didn’t go from sky to ground it was more of a circle in the middle of my vision. I assumed it was a power line blowing up.
“DID YOU SEE THAT?!?” My husband replied, “Yes.” I thought I had been clear that danger was ahead. He thought we had just seen lightning. I said something like, “HONEY, I THINK…I DON’T THINK….ERIC!!!!!” He said simultaneously, “It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s FINE.” I shut up. It suddenly became very clear we were driving in the middle of a tornado. As I was repeating a mantra of “Oh my God” a tree was pushed down in front of us on the other side of the road. I looked up and saw a goose pointed one way but being pulled back and sideways circularly by the funnel cloud. A power line snapped and flashed to our right. My husband, focused on driving out of the mess, didn’t see anything but the road ahead. As we got to the other side I yelled, “I TOLD YOU!!! I TOLD YOU!!!!!!! WE JUST DROVE THROUGH A TORNADO!!!!” and the adrenaline in my veins was overflowing so I began hitting him. Fight or flight response??? That’s my best defense. I looked out my window and saw a scene similar to the picture in this post except not so bright; the contrast between the clouds and tornado wasn’t so distinct and the rainbow was more faded. I screamed, “THERE’S THE TORNADO. IT’S RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!” A big, fat, I-told-you-so.
My daughter, who LOVES watching YouTube videos of tornados thanks to The Wizard of Oz began asking excitedly, “Where’s the tornado, Mama?? Where?” I couldn’t answer. By this time I was seething with anger. Every adrenaline-charged part of me planned on jumping dramatically out of the vehicle at the next stop in the now pouring rain to run and beat the crap out of anything I could get my hands on. I was furious at my husband for not LISTENING TO ME. He just needed to SHUT UP and listen to me. I HATED that he dismissed my warnings. Or, was I mad at myself for not listening to me?; about not being clear about the tornado? Why did this happen to me? Where else was I not being clear and not listening to myself. I realized I hadn't been being clear about or even recognized my own worth. I didn't have enough faith in myself to do what I love! I was getting in my OWN way in regards to my dreams. CRAP! All of this sent me from seething to sobbing by the time we hit the next stop sign. I sobbed for a while and much like the storm in my external experience the storm of emotion on the inside eventually faded and then disappeared. Suddenly everything on the inside and the outside was strangely calm.
And now, hours later, I can’t stop thinking about this “show” that Mother Nature put on for me: a tornado and a rainbow framed by my passenger window. The symbolism of the tornado making a clear path and the rainbow in dreams is often interpreted as hope, success, and good fortune. I’m clear about my somewhat new path. I get it universe - no earthquake necessary. Next step? Stop procrastinating on my new business cards and Parent-Child Interaction Coaching brochures ;-)
How can you get out of your own way today? I think you should pull a TORNADORAINBOW and get out of your own way and stop being so hard on yourself. What? I think it could catch on.
Deep breath in….and exhale slowly. It truly is a perfect day.
*****Shamelessly asking for plugs! OR asking clearly for what I want*****
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