Throughout my life, I've needed the clarity that sometimes only distance can provide. Whether it was a work situation where someone was plucking my nerves, a harrowing health challenge, or a difficult relationship, getting some distance before acting would have helped me to see more clearly. But without that distance, being too close--that is, caught up in the emotion of the situation--only made things look cloudy. I have now learned the value of getting some distance in difficult situations. Whether it's taking some long, deep breaths before speaking, taking time to pray before reacting, or not making a decision before I've had a chance to calm down and think, I'm getting better at viewing life through a stronger lens. Because the perspective that comes with the stronger lens can change a forecast from cloudy to cloudy with a chance of sunshine.