I’m sitting in front of a warm fire today, as the snow falls outside and the wind howls through the trees. There’s nothing quite like a cold, snowy day to make you really appreciate being snuggled inside in front of fire.
Contrast has a funny way of doing that. And really…what would life be without contrast? Contrast is what makes life so interesting and diverse.
The one constant in life is change. And what is change, but an exercise in contrast? Our lives, and the natural world, are full of contrast. Night turns to day, winter to spring. We have sleep and wake cycles and we cycle through periods of high passion, creativity, and productivity, and periods of rest and rejuvenation. We cycle through hardship and ease, sadness and joy, abundance and lack, and the list could quite literally go on and on.
The generic definition of contrast is “to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite natures, purposes, etc.” and while that’s an accurate definition, in this instance, I think the definition as relates to linguistics is more relevant: to differ in a way that can serve to distinguish meanings.
The gift of contrast is that it does just that…it allows us to distinguish meaning, and it resets our gratitude meter. It reminds us of all that we have to be grateful for, even in the midst of challenges.
If you’d never experienced being cold, warmth would have little meaning. If you’d never experienced hardship, you’d take ease for granted. It’s having experienced the contrast between the two that gives it meaning and allows you to more fully enjoy and deeply appreciate each.
So if you’ve been facing some challenge or hardship lately and you’re feeling as though it’ll never end…remember, it will shift. Your life is constantly evolving. The world around you is forever in flux.
And ask yourself, “What if… the hardship or challenges you’re facing now are simply preparing you to experience and more fully appreciate the great joy and ease that are coming?
If you have an example of how experiencing contrast has made something more meaningful for you, or has deepened your sense of appreciation…please share. I’d love to hear the story and it’s always the real-life experiences that pack a punch. You just never know who might be impacted by what you have to share.