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Can You Stand the Rain?

On a perfect day, I know that I can count on you
When that's not possible
Tell me, can you weather the storm?

If you're a fan of '80s and '90s R&B music, you probably recognize the above lyrics, which were made famous in a song first recorded by New Edition in 1988 and again by Boys II Men in 1997. And since most of us have heard the saying, "April showers bring May flowers," it seems like a fitting time to explore the metaphoric meaning of "rain/showers" in these instances.

While flowers certainly need rain to grow from seeds into beautiful blooms, if we equate rain with adversity, hard times, or uncomfortable situations, the same could be said for human beings. And though we must overcome difficult things to learn necessary lessons, it's often our perspective during tough situations that can help or hinder the process of weathering life's storms.

A friend of mine recently lost his dog of 14 years. During the last two years of his dog's life, she went from being a 50 lb. lively animal that loved to go on long hikes, swim at the lake, and chase squirrels to eventually losing the use of one of her back legs and needing to be picked up and carried from place to place.

Though caring for his beloved dog became more demanding in the end, and losing her broke his heart, my friend said that the immeasurable amount of joy she brought to his life was "worth every challenge and every tear."

When we choose to see the blessings in difficult times, it helps to shift our focus from pain or displeasure to gratitude. And, on a brighter note, we should also remember that flowers need plenty of sunshine to help them grow, too. So, may this spring bring lots of warm rays during the extended daylight hours, with just enough rain to help everything (and everyone) grow. 

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