“If you want the rainbow, you have to tolerate the rain.”
I don’t know who said that quote, other than to say that it came from a Chinese Fortune Cookie: the little nuggets of wisdom that they are.
I’m not sure if this friend intended it, or if it was “accidental,” but it was poignantly timed with an idea that I had posted earlier in the day, about the fact that the Wheel of Fortune is always turning. I wanted to get across the idea that although we may have tough times, that seem hard to bear, that during those times we are simply at the bottom of the wheel; and as the wheel is perpetually turning, it does mean that we will inevitably, in a matter of time, be back up at the top of the wheel again, experiencing good times. The rainbow will follow the rain.
The responses that I got to this message really made me think. While I intended it to be an inspirational message of hope, it occurred to me that there are a couple of ways that we can choose to look at this metaphor, and most of us have been on both sides of this coin: We can of course see that as the wheel spins, that there will always be hard times, and we can fear, even dread those times. But the other way that we can choose to view it, is that even those hard times are a gift: that without those low times, we cannot fully appreciate the high times. And instead of fearing them, we can embrace them for the wisdom and growth… and perspective… that they bring us.
Through my own experiences, I have come to fully believe that the pain and sorrow that we feel in our lives, is directly proportionate to the joy and elation that we are capable of feeling; meaning that if you experience the lows, viscerally, then you will experience the highs that much more ecstatically. This has been my experience throughout my life. For that reason, I am grateful, truly, for all of the pain and hard times that I have had in my life, for I know that out of those times comes an ever greater and more powerful capacity for joy.
In the type of yoga that I practice, which is based on Tantric philosophy, we talk a lot about the darkness and the light, and the idea that you cannot have one without the other. You cannot experience light without experiencing the darkness that comes before it. And so we practice embracing both sides, the dark and the light, the yin and the yang, the Shiva and Shakti energy.
When I opened my email and read the quote about the rainbow, it solidified this idea for me. If we do not live through and tolerate the rain, we would never be able to experience the rainbow. I don’t know about you, but even if it means living through the rain, the metaphorical hard times, the bottom of the Wheel of Fortune, I am not willing to give up the rainbow…
A special thank you to Jules for being my inspiration today.