There are storms in our life, literally and figuratively. In fact, at any one time, we are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or about to go into a storm. That just seems to be the way life is. COVID has been one of those storms. There are also financial storms, relationship storms, health storms, career storms and many other types of storms we deal with on a regular basis. The storm itself is not the problem, it’s how you respond to the storm that matters. I just heard a wonderful story about why it’s important to drive through the storm.
A man and his teenage daughter were driving home after a day out together. The daughter was learning to drive at the time and needed practice, so asked her father if she could drive. Being a supportive an encouraging man, he said, ‘Absolutely.’ They stopped the car, swapped seats and the daughter started driving. The father was very impressed by what an attentive and competent driver his daughter was. After a short time driving, big black clouds started rolling in and they could both see a storm coming. The daughter started to get a little concerned and asked her father whether they should pull over and wait for the storm to pass. The father looked at her and said, ‘No, we’ll be fine, keep driving.’ So, with his confidence in her, she kept driving.
Soon, the wind started blowing and the rain started falling and it was getting quite heavy. The girl, started to get scared said, ‘Dad, I think I should pull over and wait for the storm to pass.’ But again, the father said, ‘No darling, just keep driving through the storm.’ She trusted her father and God, so she kept going. It didn’t take long before the storm really started to reach its full force. There was thunder, lightning and the rain was pelting against the windscreen, making it difficult to see even just a few feet ahead. All the other cars on the road were pulling over and stopping. The terrified girl again asked her father, ‘Shouldn’t we stop? All the other cars are. It’s hard to see and I’m scared.’ The father, in the same calm and relaxed fashion, said again, ‘No, keep driving through the storm.’
Very soon they were through the storm. The rain stopped, the wind eased, and the sun started to break through the clouds. The girl was visibly shaken, but relieved and proud of herself, as she looked at her father, smiling. After regaining her composure, she asked, ‘Why did we keep driving through the storm dad, when stopping seemed to be the safer thing to do?’ The father requested that she stop the car at that point. They pulled over, got out of the car, looked back along the road they had just travelled, and the storm they had just come through, and he asked the girl, ‘Where are all the people who stopped?’ She looked quizzically, shrugged her shoulders and said, back there somewhere, in the storm.’ ‘Yes,’ her father replied, ‘they stopped and so they are still in the storm and will be stuck there longer. We kept driving and we made it out the other side.’
There are two powerful messages in this inspiring story. The first is to keep moving when you are dealing with a storm in your life. Don’t; stop, give-up, have a tantrum, start blaming, go into victim-mode or believe you aren’t good enough. Keep moving forward one step at a time, taking positive action and soon you will be through the particular storm in your life, whatever it may be. The second message is one I believe may be even more powerful. If the girl didn’t have her father by her side encouraging her to keep going, what would she have done? She would have stopped in the storm and been stuck in it for longer, right?
I heard this story last Sunday, and it really resonated with me this week, as I, like many, are travelling through the storm which is COVID19. I have often thought I just need to toughen up and get through it alone, but I have recently recognised that I have people around who have helped me through the storm. There is one person in particular, who has been an amazing friend and support, and has helped me enormously to drive through the storm. If this person is reading this, they will know who they are, and I say, thank you for sitting next to me in the car as I drive through the storm.
As for you, please find someone to encourage and support you as you keep driving through your storm, whatever that may be. In this week’s podcast, ‘Present – It’s your body.’ I speak to the inspiring Dr Kelly-Anne Garnier, who had to drive through many storms to become a General Practitioner. She now spends her time encouraging people, who need help with their mental or physical wellbeing, to present themselves to their GP, or other practitioner, to partner with as they drive through the storm to optimal wellbeing.
Life is a wonderful place, full of amazing possibilities that are waiting for you on the other side of the storm. All you need to do is to find a partner, a coach, a mentor or a friend and, with their support and encouragement, drive through the storm to the sunshine waiting on the other side.