The Ebbs and flows of nature take place independently of what we wish to be happening.
I’m not quite sure if it’s merely the fact that we’ve been required to be bound to our houses, but the Texas heat is starting to feel quite hard to bear. I dream of cool, crisp mornings, and crave a change of season. Regardless of how I feel about that, I am only left with the option of patiently waiting for the cool down to come along (if that ever happens because - Texas). Surely, I can try to resist it, but if I decide to wear a sweater and drink pumpkin spiced latte merely because I’m sick and tired of the heat, the heat will not go away and I will be struggling even more than before. It’s the same with the seasons of life.
Here is a personal example…
Saying yes to going out and drinking even when I didn’t want to was a coping skill that truly helped me in my life. It was my companion through the confusion of both my teenage years and into my twenties, as I never had a feeling of fitting in. It was helpful when I wanted to escape my own mind and self-loathing. It helped when I struggled to understand why I can’t be so care-free and confident as others. I felt so inferior amongst my friends and desperately wanted to be like those other girls that had a lightness and freedom about them. They didn’t seem bogged down by self-criticism and a desire to be someone else. They were so comfortable in their own skin that you just can’t help but feel so different when you’re in their presence.
It was a behavior that belonged to an old season that I was painfully growing out of. Although once fun and exciting, late nights started to feel like a chain around my neck. I felt emotionally and physically drained. My body was rebelling against these old habits and was telling me loud and clear it was time to leave that behind.
A new season of life was upon me, I was just resisting to let it happen.
It took a few quiet and then a few loud whispers (I made an Instagram post recently about whispers) to really make me listen. Once I embraced the change, life slowly became lighter. I started discovering things that gave me a sense of meaning and a connection to myself. I started paying attention and listening to more of what I wanted from this new season and what needs my attention the most.
As you move through life, it is natural to change and evolve. You will feel that change needs to take place when the way you navigated life isn’t working in your favor anymore.
Changes can be abrupt and unexpected or subtle and predicted. Our natural reaction may be to resist these changes and fight to preserve the consistency of who we know ourselves to be, as long as we can. This is who we are as humans. We like predictability because it gives us a sense of control. But resistance can cause more suffering, grief, frustration, anxiety, and panic, than the change itself. Simply tweaking a few things can work miracles, and before we know it, we feel skilled navigating that season. At other times, we are required to undergo a major shift in life: learn new skills, challenge old beliefs, and embrace new behaviors.
How do you know if a new season is knocking on your door?
If you listen and observe carefully, you will know. Pay attention to: when things that once brought you joy don’t do so anymore, when activities you engage in don’t feel adventurous anymore, when you wake up every day dreading the day ahead, when relationships don’t feel fulfilling and supportive anymore, when you are dragging yourself through the day from one thing to the next, when there is something you keep dreaming about and wanting, but can’t make yourself do it.
Think about something that you are currently struggling with. It can be a behavior, a belief, a relationship, or an inner conflict.
What are you holding onto that you’ve outgrown that belongs to a past season?
What’s the most unsettling thing about letting it go?
How exactly do you know it’s not working for you anymore?
How does this behavior, thought, or relationship leave you feeling most of the time?
How are you still benefitting from this (behavior, belief, etc.)?
Could it be that the change wants to happen FOR you, not TO you?
The first step is to be honest with yourself.
Self-judgement won’t get you far, so notice that whatever is not working right now may have been a strategy that was once helpful in your past. Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, you do better.”
You don’t need to have all the answers.
You probably have many experiences from your past that were difficult to bear in the moment, but looking back, you can understand that it had to happen to make space for something better to enter your life.
Have some compassion for yourself as you’re navigating this new season. It’s ok if you don’t know how and why. Welcoming change is not a final destination. It’s continuous learning, trial and error, letting go of the old, falling and getting up again, not having all the answers, and oftentimes just having a blind faith that the best is yet to come!
*DISCLAMER* Blog posts are created with a goal of sharing my personal reflections as well as practical tools and tips to create relief and increase your wellbeing. Please note that, while I hope that information I share is going to be helpful, it is not meant to be a substitute for therapy.