living below the clouds


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living below the clouds
 
It’s not easy maintaining a positive attitude when dark clouds seemed stalled over your head  and there’s a lot of stuff going on below. (By the way, that’s where I am right now.) While there is a break in the clouds on occasion, mostly it’s overcast. God seems to have spread a gray sheet between Him and us. 
Would you agree we all have days like that? Sometimes a number of them in a row.  We’re not clinically depressed. We don’t need medication.  We don’t need therapy. 
 
We just need a break from the unrelenting cloud-shrouded life.  
I find when I’m under grey clouds it helps to remember the transient nature of clouds.  Even today as I write the sky overhead can’t seem to make up its mind.  Will the clouds be given permission to part so the sun can shine through or will they remain huddled together in a solid mass?  
 
I find I respond two ways to the dark clouds. If I’m already having a contemplative day, I might actually prefer clouds. I think you know what I mean. There’s something that appeals to us when the sky matches our mood. It’s like friends. When we’re in the dumps we usually seek friends who we know will try to match our moods in their manner of speech, and choice of words. We don’t need them to act depressed, of course, but we don’t want someone who acts too cheerful either. It’s insulting. Sometimes a pep talk is needed but not in a” rah, rah, cheerleader mode.  I try to make sure I act appropriately as well when I’m the one listening. Something I experienced a few years ago brought that home to me.  
 
 I once mentioned in a group of people how fortunate I felt when compared to the rest of the world. One individual, (I later learned) felt I thought myself “better” than other people. (By the way, I still feel fortunate.) I guess it’s all how you look at things. Glass half-empty or glass half full. I wasn’t aware that this person was struggling with some serious issues. To someone who wasn’t feeling very blessed himself, my remarks must have felt like cold water splashed in his face. 
 
I’ve since learned to be careful how I share these kinds of things. I try to remember that while my clouds have moved for the time being, someone else’s clouds have just shown up. I wished he could have seen my past and the clouds that once hovered over me as well or the clouds that are hovering now.
 
Now, if I’ve planned a day to stay inside and pursue a creative project, I kind of like gray days. But if I’m feeling really down, I don’t want the gray clouds; I want the sun. I want something to interrupt my mood and cheer me up. When the gray clouds are not welcome, I remind myself that clouds, by their very nature, move. (Of course, if you live in Michigan as I do, you might have to wait weeks, not days.) If I keep putting one foot in front of the other the sun eventually does break through.  My mood gets better. I see things more clearly. It’s just the unrelenting nature of life.  All we have to do is look above us and wait for the sky to change.
 
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