Parts of Oklahoma received a sudden and severe storm today, complete with tornado sirens, “torrential rainfall,” hail, booming thunder, intense bolts of lightning, and wind gusts of wind up to an estimated 100 MPH. It took everyone by surprise. Yes, we are used to crazy Oklahoma weather- but dangerous weather was not on the itinerary.
I was driving, so I pulled over and took shelter at a gas station (thanks Kum and Go!), where workers put us all in the restroom. We waited it out for about 20 minutes, until it cleared up enough for everyone to hightail it out of there in the hopes of making it home before things potentially picked back up.
In the aftermath… power outages, trees down on the Turnpike (tolled freeway), auto accidents, roofs and siding ripped off businesses and homes, people stuck in flooded out streets, tree limbs lining neighborhood yards, emergency vehicles with sirens blaring… a broken mess...
I made it home safely. And here in the (apparent) safety of my dark home, I can’t help but think of the analogy (you knew it was coming, didn’t you?). When we are faced with a storm of life, we go into survival mode, somehow finding a way to hunker down (initial shock) and do what is needed at the moment. Sometimes, that means talking to hospital staff or emergency workers. Sometimes it means making funeral arrangement or hearing “I don’t love you anymore.” It could even mean sitting in stunned silence as we watch the news unfold: another shooting… a riot… chaos.
Then the storm passes, and we begin to realize the magnitude of the destruction left in its wake. Some storms are worse than others, to be sure. But a storm is a storm, nonetheless, and cleanup is at hand.
Damage caused by inclement weather requires a certain type of clean up (safety crews; utility maintenance; tree, roof, fence and restoration companies, and the like). With personal storms, there is another “clean up” altogether… physical safety first of course (if it hasn’t already been established), emotional safety (being around supportive friends, family and/or therapist), the “dirty” work (confronting the pain), and recovery / rebuilding (finding healing).
Oklahoma will recover, as it has done before (#OklahomaStrong), and will most likely do again (#Oklahomaweather). And, regarding personal storms, I will recover. You will recover.
It will take guts. It will take work. But those of us who have faced a storm, we will recover. We might tattered or windblown. But, we will rebuild what was destroyed, repair what was damaged, and come out better, stronger and wiser.
Photo credit: R Davidson
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The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
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