Counselor's Corner: Choose your cloud

By Fred Cavaiani

This weekend as my wife and I were driving along the shores of Lake Huron we were trying to decide which scenic park we would pull into to sit and relax while overlooking the water. As we were driving she said to me on this beautiful, blue sky day, “This is like being in heaven and trying to decide which cloud to sit on.” So we found our “cloud” and sat down and filled ourselves with the grandeur of nature. As we sat there quietly taking in the beauty all around us, my wife said, “Everyone needs their own cloud to go to, wherever they are, a special place to go to in which they can find peace and serenity at any given moment.” And with that profound statement came the inspiration for this article.

We all need a peaceful place or cloud to which we can go to at any moment. Life can be a struggle. People can disappoint us. Emotional and physical pain can feel overwhelming. What do we do at times like this? Where is the peaceful place to which we can go? Is there a soft cloud in which we can rest and have its softness and peacefulness envelop us? Even as I write this it appears so utopian and unrealistic. But it isn’t.

Life can be lived fully when I invest my energy in a positive direction. Taking quiet breaks throughout the day to reflect on where I am and what I am doing can be a soft cloud on which to rest. Investing in the positive and seeing the glass half full instead of half empty can lift me up out of pessimism. When we become quiet in meditation and self-awareness we lift ourselves to a higher plane of existence. When I choose to relate to the person next to me or the person who passes me at any moment of the day I let go of my own narcissism and connect with them in some small way which can become very energizing. Soft clouds of rest come to us in many different forms throughout the day. They come to us in silence and reflection and they come to us in connectivity and relationships.

Negativity and criticism is like putting a wall around me and making it difficult for other people to relate to me in a positive experience.

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who had just returned from the emergency room a few days before. He was wondering if he was having a stroke. No one has discovered what is wrong with him yet. He will have a CT scan on Wednesday. I asked him if he was worried about it. He realistically said that he was worried but reality is reality and he will deal with whatever comes his way. I was inspired by his response. It was like he was taking one day and one moment at a time. He would find a cloud in whatever comes his way. There was no utopia and no despair. There was just reality to deal with when it came.

Maybe the soft clouds of comfort become present when we embrace the present moment with an open mind and open heart. I have another close friend who struggles with cancer of the vocal cords. He is the most peaceful person you could ever meet. He never complains. He just accepts smiles and cares about people and about himself in an energizing and refreshing way. It is easy to feel the soft cloud of peace enveloping him. He doesn’t invest in negativity but rather channels his energy only in a positive approach to wherever he is on his journey in life.

I think we all meet people who find soft clouds of peace throughout their lives. They have discovered how to find peace in difficult situations. It seems that at times we are bombarded by bad news or difficult situations. The soft clouds of peace are discovered in embracing what is before us much like my two friends have embraced their present moments. Learning to be silent with ourselves and making a decision to connect with others in a caring experience happens when we embrace the present situation and avoid no one who passes by us.

Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his Web site is fredthecounselor.com.

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