The Thundercloud Within
I really don’t like giving readings to children.
At least, I don’t like giving readings to kids under the age of 16 or so. This is for a few reasons, but mainly I don’t want to say something to a young individual that may affect their life in the negative. While nothing I do has anything to do with fortune telling, I’m always leery of how a young mind might interpret my words and how they might react in the future.
A few months back, I was asked to take part in a local restaurant’s tribute to Harry Potter - they were having a day of Harry Potter-related fun and wanted a psychic. I went that day and offered 15 minute small readings, and while most of them were adults, a few of them were children. The ones I offered to children that day were fun and light-hearted, as they should be. “Watch out how you speak to your mom, and how you treat her.” “Pay attention to your school work more, instead of the boys,” things of that nature.
When I set up for a reading, whether it’s a tiny 15-minute one or a long 90-minute one, my intention is always the same: to offer connection, clarity, and direction. While those tidbits offered up to the children were lighthearted and appropriate for where they were in life, they were legitimate messages, passed along through me.
That day at the restaurant got out of hand - I believe I did 12 small readings like that right in a row, and I was wiped at the end of it. There were still some readings for me to do, of which two were a friend and her son, who was 11. As I knew them, and knew they would appreciate my plight of being wiped out, I asked if they could reschedule, and they did.
I recently gave the son his reading the other day, and as always, I can trust Spirit to pass through me exactly what this person - child or adult - needed to hear. Even though I’m leery of providing children with readings, I must remember that Spirit will help guide my words to be exactly what that person needed to hear.
This young man of 11 was victim of some of the normal parts of that age, school stuff, etc. The reading started out talking about his problems at school, and how I could feel how frustrated he was by the time he got home.
And then Spirit gave me the perfect analogy for him, and here’s what I (we!) told him…
Everyone of us, every human, has on the inside of them a Thundercloud. This Thundercloud doesn’t ever fully go away, and it’s within us at all times. This young man had a tiny little Thundercloud in him, about the size of an apricot...and when life got too much for him, when he got heated, the Thundercloud in him grew. This Thundercloud was all of the anger and frustration that he felt towards the world, and how it does him wrong.
I find it interesting this metaphor was passed along to me, being so appropriate. Everyone knows what a Thundercloud looks like, everyone has experienced the raw power of a thunderstorm. Most of us understand the science of thunder, how rising heat clashes with cold air to create these beautiful forces of nature. We’ve all wondered at the awe of thunderstorms.
Then, Spirit lead me to talk about the Thunderclouds around him that were having an affect on his life. I told him that his Mom had a Thundercloud in her as well, about the size of a cantaloupe, and she kept it that size by all of the ways she was caring for herself: her Yoga, her meditation, her spiritual practice. Through all of those practices she was able to keep her Thundercloud small enough to manage, and he had to start doing things that would help him with his as well. Connection to nature, getting outside as soon as he got home, reading, art...all of those things would help to shrink the size of his Thundercloud, rather than add to it.
Then, the tough part of the reading came about - we had to talk about his Dad’s Thundercloud. See, while this young man’s Thundercloud was the size of an apricot, and his Mom’s the size of a cantaloupe, his Dad’s was the size of the entire building we were sitting in at that moment. His Dad wasn’t doing anything to take care of himself, he was in fact doing all of the things he could in the opposite direction, which was causing that Thunderhead to grow. The heat, the frustration, the humidity of his daily life was all adding to the stress within him, feeding that Thundercloud.
And it was very important for this young man to know that while his Dad said hurtful things to him, that his Dad was angry at himself and at the world, that those angry words came from the Thundercloud within him, and not from his heart. That in his heart, he really and truly loved his son...he just hadn’t figured out how to fix that Thundercloud in himself yet.
As I ponder on this metaphor that was passed through me to this 11-year-old, I find it a good analogy for the rest of us. Each of us has a Thundercloud within us, each of us are responsible for finding ways to shrink that Thundercloud, rather than feeding it. This metaphor also handily plays into how “toxic positivity” hurts us.
Toxic positivity is the idea that only feeling happy and positive is more harmful than helpful. We all experience several emotions, and I believe anger and fear and rage are very natural for all of us to feel. In fact, I believe they’re very useful...as long as you’re not living in those feelings constantly. You know the people of whom I speak: “good vibes only”, right?
When you deny the very human part of your nature - the part that feels anger, sadness, and fear - you’re hurting yourself more than helping yourself. We must acknowledge that every single one of us has a Thundercloud in us - to pretend otherwise only harms us. Sure, we all have different ways to decrease the Thundercloud within us, but we can only do that if we know it exists in the first place. I am in no way a licensed therapist or psychologist, but I have seen the damage that toxic emotions, and toxic positivity, can have on people. I’ve also seen ways for people to cope with them.
Something I often suggest to people is to write down their story, but do it in the third-person, rather than the first-person. This means I would write my story out as “Josh was born in Lancaster, New Hampshire to such-and-such parents” vs “I was born in Lancaster to so-and-so.” When you create a narrative around your life, especially one where you can step outside of it and look at it from the outside in, you start to forgive yourself the transgressions you hold against yourself. You start to see how messy of a story you have, and it’s a great gateway to start to forgive yourself. So many people tear themselves down over attributes and characteristics and situations that are not their fault, and yet they wouldn’t hold those very same things against other people.
We all have a Thundercloud in us, it’s a very fundamental part of human nature. It helps us get angry at the people and situations that actually deserve it, and thereby becomes a survival technique...but when this survival technique starts to hinder or hurt your life, it’s time to find a path to wellness. It’s time to find ways to make that Thunderhead shrink, and you’re the only one who can do that. There’s no therapy, no prescription, no amount of time spent in the woods that will help you if you don’t want to help yourself.
We must all become co-creators of the reality we want to live in, lest we become co-creators of a reality we don’t want to live in.
It’s your choice. Do what you can to make that Thundercloud as small as it can be...but always remember that it will be there, a part of you, and you’re not a lesser person because of it.
No one is.