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Just about the time I was going to complain about the winds which had picked up this evening, I noticed the fresh scent of rain in the air wafting in through the open window. I went outside to check, to my own disbelief, it was in fact, raining lightly upon me and all the world around me! Those winds were worthwhile as they surely brought with them those few moments of bliss in the form of a stormy weather cell! And that’s a lesson for life. Often what we endure brings us a reward, a lesson, or some result which is beneficial! Those winds enabled us to have the fresh, clean scent of rain falling. And even though the rain only lasted for a short while, it was delightful!  

In studying life, don’t we often find that what we endure produces some beneficial lesson or experience from which we can gain something positive? Even in the worst case scenario of death, loss, illness or some other tragedy, there are positives hidden amongst the seeming perils, hardships, stones and thorns. We just have to look for the hidden treasure of a benefit to reshape what we perceive as negative into something positive instead! And we can utilize this trick for small difficulties and significant problems equally.

I had started out by being annoyed by the wind picking up, as I had just finished creating two big piles of plant trimmings near the sidewalk out front. We have scheduled uncontained trash pickups every quarter, which enables us to put out plant trimmings as well as a lot of other items which won’t fit in our garbage cans. It’s a benefit our city offers, scheduled by the area of the city in which we live. In my area, we’re preparing for our pickup next week. So I was able to do a lot of Spring yard clean up in anticipation of this particular quarter’s uncontained trash pickup. The piles I made contain mostly pruned branches and assorted cuttings from plants in my yard. There are two piles of limbs, branches, as well as several trash bags filled with leaves. Unfortunately, the wind means my piles might blow around or shift from their present location! So I became a bit agitated at the thought of the mess I might have until I smelled the rain through the breeze that is!  

And now as I’m reflecting upon the change the winds brought, I can even still hear the thunder clapping outside a few hours later! It’s a pleasant surprise from what began first as an annoyance. The wind wasn’t entirely welcome, but along with it, was this storm cell offering up scents, sounds, and a refreshing change! I’ve learned to look for the benefit in things, in even the worst case situations in life. There is always something positive and beneficial to be found in everything, even in tragedy or great sadness or in our problems! It might require significant, heartfelt searching to find that benefit or to see the positive in something seemingly or overwhelmingly negative, but to do so ensures that we’ll have more joy and/or contentment in life! Instead of making ourselves miserable, especially over things we cannot change, we create more joy or at least don’t destroy our existing joy!

The wind was threatening after so much work creating those piles, after all, I worked hard to rake up leaves, bag them, cut branches off trees, then move it and stack it all at that spot in my yard near the street. But without the wind, I wouldn’t have had the rain tonight! So I welcomed the wind because it brought the rain and stormy weather. Often, without the negativity or the pain in life, we wouldn’t know how to truly value the blessings we have! Learning how to see life through rosier lenses is a gift for sure! It just takes looking past what at first seems to be less than rosy, positive or promising! Shift your focus and you’ll see everything differently, from a new perspective.   

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