The morning arrived with a dullness.
A blanket of fog saturated the world outside, and the grey pushed it’s way in through the tightly-shut windows.
Penetrating into the bedroom, the fog kept going, seeping into my mind and spirits, leaving me dreary, sapped of energy, and viewing life through a haze.
The autumn, winter, and spring already felt like one long, grey, cloud-covered, and drizzly experience, and this seemed to take it all one step further.
Now, in all honesty, much of my internal fog came about due my own actions.
I broke a perfectly good sleep routine, and was burning the candle at both ends for far too long, taking on too much at once, and failing to live in a balanced and focused way.
Still, waking up to a foggy world and a foggy brain felt uninspiring and even a bit frustrating.
The prolonged and tedious string of sunless days made it feel like the clouds would never lift and that the full energy of life was well beyond reach.
With this especially foggy morning, it appeared things were getting even drearier, and it was hard to see when anything might change for the brighter.
Groggily, I prepared for the day, and sat down to work.
While progress wasn’t great, I kept plugging away at things, and as I did so, something was slowly taking place outside and in.
At an almost imperceptible rate, the fog burned away, revealing blue skies and a warm morning sun.
As the blue skies and sunshine revealed themselves, my eyes and mind also opened more to the brightness, warmth, and energy of life.
Observing this process, as well as the internal shift take place, I was reminded of something important to keep in mind…
The clouds in life will pass, and even while they are with us, the energy and brightness of life is all around us, even if we’re not seeing it.
The clouds in life
The reality of the situation is that there are clouds in life.
They come in many forms, and exist for many reasons.
Some of them come about due to the choices we make, the lifestyle we live, and the way we decide to see the world and the life we’re living.
They form due to lack of sleep, unhealthy habits, an unhealthy diet, too many medications, not enough movement and exercise, and not enough relaxation. They come about by trying to control too much, pushing too hard, or not pushing hard enough. They form as a result of too much mindless entertainment and too much focus on the superficialities in our world. They come about from closing ourselves off to ideas, perspectives, curiosity, and differences, and from generally getting out of balance in some way.
Other clouds come from parts of our life that are beyond our immediate control.
They form due to things like the weather, the economy, environmental pollutants, geopolitical movements, and the acts of strangers. They come about as a result of physical ailments, genetic predispositions, and a lack of nutrients in our food. They form due to the places, times, and circumstances in which we are born.
Regardless of why they form, the clouds and fog are simply a part of life, and are something we all encounter in various forms.
Remember the light
Sometimes it feels like the grey, the fog, the unpleasantness, the frustrations, the pains, and the problems will never leave.
It can feel like they are endless and ever-building.
That’s why it’s crucial to remind ourselves that change will happen, and these things will pass even if it seems like it’s taking forever.
When we fixate on the clouds and fog, we follow them around, creating even more by focusing on the negative and by burning our energy before it can rebuild.
If we give up and act unskillfully, we perpetuate and increase the negative cycle, feeding it back onto itself.
Additionally, by fixating on the clouds and in believing they’ll never change, we lose track of the things that exist right now for which we can be thankful. We blind ourselves from seeing the green leaves, bright flowers, and joyous love that is all around us. We deafen our ears, blocking out the sounds of chirping birds and the harmonies of uplifting music.
Plus, we forget that just above those clouds and fog, there’s blue sky and sunshine here and now.
If you find yourself in this position, remember to look, to listen, to breathe, and to be patient.
The presence of clouds and fog don’t have to determine your happiness. You can shift your perspective and change the way the clouds impact you.
Instead of fixating on the clouds, the grey, the pain, etc, and instead of resisting them — which is really another form of fixating — acknowledge them, accept their presence at this moment, understand that they will pass, and let go of focusing on them.
When we encounter clouds in life, there is often a mix of ones that result from our own actions, and others that come about due to things beyond our control.
Whatever their origin, allow them to be. They’ve already formed, so let them pass naturally.
For the parts of life you can control, take actions to reduce the number of new clouds that form, and the amount of foggy greyness you will later run into.
For the parts of life that are beyond control, you can control how you interact with the clouds that form, how much you fixate on them, and how much they impact you.
As you let the clouds go by, observe what else is there in life, take note of what there is to be grateful for, and recognize the things you do have have control over.
Take the positive steps you know you can take, and make other aspects of your life brighter and healthier.
Of course, this process can be difficult and takes consistent effort, and even when we know what to do, it is easy to falter in our steps.
So, be patient, be forgiving, and be kind to yourself and to life.
The payoff of being happier is worth it.
Take it slow, and take it one step at a time.
Let go of worrying about the outcome. Outcomes can take a long time to see, and placing your energy in the present brings greater rewards.
Do your best to enjoy the journey as you take it.
- The fog will lift, the clouds will pass. Let them go by.
- The energy and brightness of life is still there, even when it’s hard to see.
- Breathe. Be patient. Remain hopeful. Keep your eyes open for the light.
- Let the energy build from within. Let yourself be happy, even when things aren’t so great.
Life can be filled with clouds and fog. The clouds can form due to things in our control and things beyond our control.
When we let the clouds go by, when we keep our eyes open for the light, we can act mindfully and skillfully so we don’t create even more clouds, and so we don’t get lost in — and fixated on — the ones that are there.
While it isn’t always easy, and we will often stumble, we can be happy, even when things in life are far from ideal.
Key mindset shift:
- Even when things are bad, you can be happy.
Realization to consider:
- Clouds are part of life. You don’t have to be consumed by them, they will pass, and even when they’re dark and thick, there is still light to be found.
Actions to take:
- Let the clouds go by.
- Keep your eyes open for the light.
- Act mindfully and skillfully.
- Let yourself be happy, even when things aren’t so great.
Fellow Journeyer @ BigSkyRise
If you think there is anyone who might enjoy or benefit from this post, please share it.