And I'm not just talking about the weather. My inner world has been every bit as icy and inert as the frozen stream behind my house. My creative imagination has been sluggish, my focus scattered, my joy obscured. I've worked hard, with little to show for my labors.
Worst of all, I felt alone in my isolation.
Today, I write in gratitude and appreciation for the arrival of spring - both outside and within!
As I connect with people through this website and through my life, I recognize so many common themes:
- At times in our lives, we all struggle.
- From time to time, we have pain in our hearts.
- The majority of us carry wounds from childhood.
- Many of us yearn for more joyous, more abundant, more creative and more powerful lives, yet a lot of the time our lives appear to be nothing but a mass of confusion.
The "human experience" is just that - an experience shared by all the members of our race. Why is it that the tendency, when we are hurting, is to isolate? One of the many lessons I've learned during this past, harsh season is the importance of community, of tribe. Why did I not host a weekly pot-luck at my house this winter? Why did I not create a winter support group? Why did I allow myself to feel that I was the only one enduring hardship?
And why do I continue to feel that stepping outside my house in a mood of sadness or fear is the mental equivalent of stepping outside in my underwear?
I've always found solace in solitude, so I give myself excuses to withdraw: I'm an only child, I'm a Scorpio, I don't play well with others when I'm grumpy, etc. In retrospect, I see how well I might have been able to shift the energy in my own life and also support other people in theirs if I've had the willingness to step outside my comfort zone. Because it wasn't comfortable, I didn't recognize it for what it was. But what is "comfort" if not the familiar - even if what is familiar is pain? How insidious our mental habits are!
Spring is about renewal and change, and intentions are powerful things, so on this second day of spring, I announce an intention:
My intention for the coming year is to create a greater sense of community in my life, and to share more of myself with others, even if that sharing is not always pretty. I recognize now that the willingness to be sad or afraid in front of others can be the most healing gift of all.