• Nicole Turner

Beauty in the Struggle


I recently returned from a week in Tulum, Mexico. Each morning I woke early

enough to watch the sun rise from the beach. With my coffee in hand I would sit

on my chosen beach chair, closest to the water and wait expectantly for the

glorious display of colours over the ocean.


Making my way to the beach on my last morning I felt a sense of anticipation. I

was determined to take it all in, ready to enjoy every last drop of Caribbean

goodness, eager to relish in the beauty of the first morning sun. It was still dark

when I sat on my beach chair. In fact, it stayed dark for a long time, and then

suddenly I saw what appeared to be a storm off in the distance. Lightening was

striking and it was clearly raining heavily. I wrapped my towel around myself as I

watched the storm forming, disappointed but mesmerized by the dark clouds and

teeming rain.


And then as though I was tapped on the shoulder, I turned to my left, and saw the

most incredible sunrise building its majestic array of colours across the sky. Over

the ocean, pinks, yellows, oranges spread effortlessly towards me. I was

speechless as I watched the beauty of this last morning unfold. As I scanned the

sky, I realized that the storm to my right was still hard at work, pounding the

beaches in the distance with heavy rain.


It occurred to me that both were happening at the same time. A beautiful sunrise

was lighting up the sky, casting light and warmth, and a terrible storm was hitting

hard, covering many with darkness. Both were true.


If I sat facing the storm, I would miss the beauty of the sunrise. And if I sat facing

the sunrise, I’d miss the hardship of the storm. My perspective impacted my

experience.


This is true in life too isn’t it? Our perspective changes our experience. It’s likely

very true that you have both beauty and struggle in your life. There are probably

things that bring you joy and pleasure…. And then there are probably things that

bring you pain and anxiety. Where we put our focus will be the thing that takes up

the most space in our lives.


Part of our human condition is that we are drawn to focusing on the struggle, and

facing the storm. As I sat looking at the horizon on that beautiful morning in


Tulum, I reflected on my own situation, and my own perspective on things

happening in my life. I am in a season of significant change, and on some days I

am tempted to sit facing the storm, engaged in the struggle and overwhelmed

with the heaviness. But, if I shift my perspective and allow myself to remember

the beauty in my life, the amazing blessings I enjoy every day, the friendships and

connection that exist, then I actually buy myself respite from the storm.


This is not in any way meant to minimize the truth of the struggle. Life is wrought

with hardship and difficulties. But let us try to remember to shift our focus away

from the difficulties, towards the sunrise that is inevitably rising somewhere in

your life. You just need to be facing the right direction.

Wishing you many beautiful sunrises this year.

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