Why April Showers Are Good For More Than Just May Flowers
The goodness of April is undeniable: the weather improves, the trees come back to life after a prolonged dormancy, and the sun bathes us in a warmth we haven’t felt in ages. But not everything is all hunky-dory, and I say that with the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers” in mind.
It’s actually quite nice explicitly, but implicitly is where things start to get a little wonky. The implication is that April showers (not super desirable) are good because they bring May flowers (much more desirable). But what if we stopped looking at the April showers as a means to a desired end and starting thinking about them as something desirable in their own way? What if we accepted these showers and learned to love them?
I challenge you to try and accept the current situation as it is. That doesn’t mean you have to like it, it just means that you accept the current reality and work to improve how you feel about it.
Don’t sit there and lament the fact that it’s raining in April. It’s springtime, it’s supposed to rain. Instead, embrace the rain. Go out and play in it. Remember playing in the rain as a kid and how much fun it was? Part of me is starting to think that the kid versions of ourselves were on to something.
I know that at face value, rain doesn’t seem all that great. It might ruin your plans of going to a ballgame or taking a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin your day. If we can accept it for what it is, in this case a force of nature, and adapt our mood and our plans around it, we’ll feel much better.
If running around in the rain isn’t your cup o’ tea, maybe just shut down all the electronics, pick up a book and read by the window. It’s extremely likely that it’ll be the coziest thing you ever do.
THE SAME GOES FOR LIFE
It might not be a rain storm but one of these days you’re going to come up against something you’d rather not have to deal with. Instead of recoiling and trying to avoid it, open yourself up to vulnerability, accept it as reality, and face the challenge head on, regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
What happens when you ask someone out and they reject you? Your body floods with anxiety and shame and you want nothing more than to immediately disappear from the situation. That protective instinct, the one pushing you towards flight, not fight, causes us to see all “failures” as negative. Not all failures are negative. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that with the right amount of acceptance, most failures can be positive.
If you learn from a failure and use that knowledge moving forward, that failure will lead you toward success. Being rejected by someone, or something (a job, a promotion, a raffle), won’t feel great in the moment, but living through it and realizing that rejection won’t kill you will go a long way toward helping you reach success. Shying away from potential rejection or failure stops us from putting ourselves in situations where we feel uncomfortable and uneasy. We need to realize, though, that by playing it safe and shying away from this possible rejection we close ourselves off to any possible successes. After all, you can’t fly without first taking that leap of faith, right?
DO THE BEST YOU CAN
I know this is easier said than done, but do the best you can. That anxiety you feel inside you is real, but it’s not going to hurt you unless you let it. Acknowledge that anxiety and do what you set out to do in spite of it. This’ll take some time — I’m still working on it, myself — but the journey, those April showers, are well worth the reward of those beautiful May flowers.
Until next time — let’s go play in the rain.