Last summer, I checked the forecast (clear skies), laced up my tennis shoes and hit the pavement for a run.
As soon as I stepped outside, it started drizzling.
“It should pass any moment,” I thought.
Well, it didn’t and the heavens opened up, releasing a torrential downpour. Within minutes I’m drenched, feeling like Oscar the Grouch and looking like a drowned rat. So I speed up my pace to get it over with… but as the rain (and tears) stream down my face I’m reminded of a lesson from Hagakure – an ancient samurai text, which happens to be one of the most influential books on the samurai spirit.
Why might I be reminded of the samurai in a God forsaken downpour?
Because, in it, Yamato Tsunetomo states:
There is a lesson to be learned from a downpour of rain.
If you get caught in a sudden cloudburst, you will still get a
drenching even though you try to keep dry by hurrying along and
taking cover under overhands of roofs. If you are prepared to get
wet from the start, the result is still the same but it is no hardship.
The hardship was not in the rain.
The hardship was in thinking it shouldn’t be raining.
And this made me focus on getting the run over with… which made me tense up and dampened the experience (pun very intended)… but once the samurai quote came to me, I surrendered, my body relaxed, and I just let go.
Now this idea doesn’t transcend rain, does it?
Of course not…
Some will say it’s lowering your standards.
But in fact it’s raising your standards. It’s saying, I’m going to embrace whatever happens. Whatever comes my way. Even if it’s not how I envisioned it.
Like an old friend once told me, “If it rains, let it.”
P.S. Besides embracing whatever comes your way there are other tools for handling the storms that life throws at you, some of which are perfect for restoring your sense of personal power, others radically change your perspective and free you from suffering. Here's a great example of tapping into this personal power after 600 rejections.
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