I love a rainy day. The sound of the droplets hitting the surrounding surfaces create a steady sound that will lull one to sleep if they find themselves a little too cozy. The impact varies from a light pitter-patter to a chaotic thrashing. I love standing in the rain, letting it just wash over me like I’m Andy Dufresne as he finally breaks free in The Shawshank Redemption, okay maybe not intense, but I do love the sound a feel of the droplets hitting my head.
The rain is beautiful at the moment, but it’s the aftermath where we truly witness the impact. Perhaps the rain does not stop, and we find ourselves amid a flash flood, yet even that will flow away. Perhaps the clouds pass, and the summer heat quickly returns. Where we truly see the impact of the rain is in the season to follow.
The leaves flourish and the flowers perk up the blossoms bloom, and the land comes alive. Though the rain has come and gone, the impact lasts.
I started writing this article last week when the sun was out, and the ground was dry. Today, the rain has been falling for a couple of days, and now I sit outside in that impact of the rain. The trees and plants have come alive, the birds sing, and the smell of Spring is in the air. What a gift for the rain to leave us.
What gifts do we leave for others?
In other words, what is our lasting impact? Do we leave people feeling refreshed or drained? Do we make the stranger feel welcome, or strange? We can write our destiny, we can choose what kind of impact we want to have on the lives around us, then make decisions that support that image of who we want to be.
Do you know what the beautiful thing is? We do not have to be perfect. When I look back at the friends who have had a lasting impact on my life, some of them ended taking dark roads that did not align with who their true identity, yet vices and pains had brought them to a place of struggle and addiction. This did not reverse the lessons that I had learned from them though. If anything, the lessons they had taught me endured despite the darkness. The former was the image that they could cling to as the root of who they are.
The scales will always be tipped in our favor in the form of a positive impact if we choose to live a life guided by love. From loving who we are to loving others for who they are, this guiding force is a powerful force, capable of covering a multitude of mistakes or shortcomings.
Love is a practice, and it takes work. Love requires a level of humility and selflessness, and in this love, we become people who add to the world around us.
Service springs forth love. In love, we will seek to serve others, and look to their needs as well as our own needs. This is something I’ve been talking with my daughters about lately. Most of the disagreements they get into are a result of each of them seeking to satisfy their wants, and not considering what the other one wants. Not to oversimplify, but most of our disappointments and frustrations are rooted in the fact that we didn’t get our way.
We talk about the importance of entering into space with each other where each of them is welcomed and not estranged, feeling like they have given more than they have taken. So I challenged them to start thinking of how they serve each other rather than take from each other. In considering what the other person needs, we put them at ease, and in turn, create a space for them to serve as well.
Stay true to who you are, be you. This image that we are painting of the person we want to be will be formed through a daily commitment to make decisions that align with the person you want to be. Each decision toward this way of life will serve as a raindrop, and if we stay committed to, we create a downpour that will feed and nourish the world and lives around us.