Beauty in the Struggle
I recently returned from a week in Tulum, Mexico. Each morning I woke early
enough to watch the sun rise from the beach. With my coffee in hand I would sit
on my chosen beach chair, closest to the water and wait expectantly for the
glorious display of colours over the ocean.
Making my way to the beach on my last morning I felt a sense of anticipation. I
was determined to take it all in, ready to enjoy every last drop of Caribbean
goodness, eager to relish in the beauty of the first morning sun. It was still dark
when I sat on my beach chair. In fact, it stayed dark for a long time, and then
suddenly I saw what appeared to be a storm off in the distance. Lightening was
striking and it was clearly raining heavily. I wrapped my towel around myself as I
watched the storm forming, disappointed but mesmerized by the dark clouds and
And then as though I was tapped on the shoulder, I turned to my left, and saw the
most incredible sunrise building its majestic array of colours across the sky. Over
the ocean, pinks, yellows, oranges spread effortlessly towards me. I was
speechless as I watched the beauty of this last morning unfold. As I scanned the
sky, I realized that the storm to my right was still hard at work, pounding the
beaches in the distance with heavy rain.
It occurred to me that both were happening at the same time. A beautiful sunrise
was lighting up the sky, casting light and warmth, and a terrible storm was hitting
hard, covering many with darkness. Both were true.
If I sat facing the storm, I would miss the beauty of the sunrise. And if I sat facing
the sunrise, I’d miss the hardship of the storm. My perspective impacted my
This is true in life too isn’t it? Our perspective changes our experience. It’s likely
very true that you have both beauty and struggle in your life. There are probably
things that bring you joy and pleasure…. And then there are probably things that
bring you pain and anxiety. Where we put our focus will be the thing that takes up
the most space in our lives.
Part of our human condition is that we are drawn to focusing on the struggle, and
facing the storm. As I sat looking at the horizon on that beautiful morning in
Tulum, I reflected on my own situation, and my own perspective on things
happening in my life. I am in a season of significant change, and on some days I
am tempted to sit facing the storm, engaged in the struggle and overwhelmed
with the heaviness. But, if I shift my perspective and allow myself to remember
the beauty in my life, the amazing blessings I enjoy every day, the friendships and
connection that exist, then I actually buy myself respite from the storm.
This is not in any way meant to minimize the truth of the struggle. Life is wrought
with hardship and difficulties. But let us try to remember to shift our focus away
from the difficulties, towards the sunrise that is inevitably rising somewhere in
your life. You just need to be facing the right direction.
Wishing you many beautiful sunrises this year.