You Cannot Have A Rainbow without A Storm

During the holiday season I was blessed to get a new book by Charles Grodin entitled  If I only knew then…  The gist of the book is that friends of Charles Grodin, actors, actresses, politicians etc. described a situation in which they made a mistake. They then added  what they learned from that mistake.

One person, John Hope Bryant, the CEO of Operation Hope, shared his experience and summarized it with “You cannot have a rainbow without a storm first”.  This quote just hit me in the head–WOW!! How fitting for a day, a week, a month, a year in my office!!  How many storms do I get to see  within the 4 walls and 2 couches of my office?  How many of these storms are more like nor’easters with heavy winds blowing and lots of accumulation? And what about the rainbows?  How unexpected are those? And when they happen, WOW.

I mean last week alone there 2 such rainbows in my office–2 clients sharing about their pregnancy stories on the same day!  What are the odds that  3 hours apart  in my office  I got to hear about their infertilities and then their subsequent  doctor visit  to learn of their conceptions?

 And what about the storms? My favorite of those occurred on a summer friday when thunder and lightening storms are the norm for the evening rush hour.  This young women decided to break her silence about her mother’s treatment of her on this day.  And we had all of nature’s pyrotechnics–loud thunder/viscious, dangerous lightening/ lights flickering in my office as the backdrop to the client’s teary story of pain/hurt/anguish/guilt/anger.  When she got better some time later, this story was part of the history of our meetings  “do you remember the night when you talked about your mom?”

 I have had many colleagues who have said to clients, “It has to get worse before it gets better” and although there is truth to that, I’ve always hated that phrase because it sounds so hopeless and dark.   What an improvement “You cannot have a rainbow without a storm first” is because I have experiened both in my office.  The hopefulness of this statement can lead to much more encouragement through the pain knowing that the rainbow can be on the other side.

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