Let the Seasons Show You
(Artwork by Alphonse Mucha)
Be patient with yourself as the seasons shift. Be patient with nature as she changes from day to day. She is like you: some days she is stormy, some days she shines. The weather is a gift and a reminder that we are changeable creatures with changeable experiences. It gives us permission, every day, to be exactly where we are: physically, experientially, and emotionally. It is not constant, so why do you expect yourself to be constant? As an experiment, try expecting inconsistency instead, because you are changing in every moment: move past contradiction to include your multitudes.
The seasons of the heart and body may be long or they may be short, but they are real and they are your lifelong companion. Rather than fighting against your shifting emotions and suffering, or telling yourself you should not or will not feel as you do, treat your inner dialog as you do the weather: they are simply the conditions you will survive today. And you will survive. For just as the sun always returns eventually, your thoughts, opinions, and “knowing” will change. If you don’t survive, well then you’re dead, so you probably won’t care anymore anyway.
When it rains, we put on a raincoat. If we wake to find we are sad, put on gentleness toward yourself and others. If it is to be hot, we utilize the day to put on our bathing suits and go for a swim. Swim in your happiness when it’s abundant. Swim in your anger, soak yourself in your experience. When it becomes cold in your heart, cozy up to the things you identify as light and warm. Try on vulnerability: see how the cold effects you, see how you can hold onto or improve the warmth within, as you might stamp your feet at a cold bus stop to stay warm.
For women especially: do not be afraid at your seasons and weather. We are reflections of experience, we generate new form, and as such our form and substance is highly representative of the environment we live in. It changes. Denial of this aspect of our experience brings us great pain, and it’s something we all experience. Our brothers have storms and seasons too, do not let them fool you (they aren’t even trying to fool you!) - you’ll have seen it in your sons, in your father.
For all: see the seasons in others. Try to not be ashamed or proud that you express as you do, try not to shame or praise anyone for their subtle or potent expressions, simply witness yourself and the other. Sometimes bearing witness is easy, other times it forces us to behold terrifying things, but bearing witness is looking at ourselves in reflection. Everything you see in another is an aspect of yourself too, can you recognize yourself in the other? Does that change your response?
Create private places and moments for yourself where you can fully express the range of your emotions. By standing strongly in your experience, by wiling to witness your emotions and the emotions of others, you allow all permission to stand strongly in our experience, in our emotions. This is the gift of the seasons, the gift of weather: no two moments or experiences are alike. Own this, and see what happens.