Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Seasons of Life

"To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn..."

This song has been spinning in my head the past day or so, and really the sentiment has been in my subconscious for much longer. What if I could look at life as if it was a big collection of seasons? Perhaps when a part of your life changes or you lose something dear to you it is actually a natural cycle passing through and leading you onto better things. I wonder why we, as humans, are sometimes very shaken by any change in our lives. I also wonder why we are so quick and easy to remember how we have been hurt by others and yet seem oblivious to how we have hurt others. Human nature confuses my logical mind and it seems especially stressful during these times of change.

I've spent a good portion of my life feeling such intense sadness due to 'endings'. When school was over, or the summer was over, or Christmas was over, or a friend moved away, or I moved away...and so on and so forth. Even the smallest endings like those of a beloved tv show going off the air could send my childhood self into nights of fitful sleep and days filled trying to conceal my quiet sobbing. I believe the pain comes from some very subconscious self-love issues I have surrounding the possibility of being rejected. I spent the greater portion of my life wishing I was someone very different than I am and after reading A New Earth last year I finally began my journey towards understanding how to embrace authenticity. Maybe it's time to dust it off and re-read it again.

I certainly am not going to say it's been an easy journey or even that I am anywhere near the end (or even the middle for that matter), but it is a journey I am very happy to be on. In my present life when I'm faced with change I try to remind myself, while acknowledging the emotions, that in the end of every season comes the beginning of another. Sure I like Spring a lot more than Winter, but without Winter I'm not sure I'd know how much I love Spring.

For several years in my late teens and early twenties I unconsciously decided to take the easy way out. It was much easier to use escapism to hide from my lack of self love or even self respect at the time. I embraced escape readily at the time whether through drinking, partying, boyfriends, school, or even, at times, sleep. As you can probably guess this didn't really help me progress in my quest for self love. In fact I eventually found myself in the ICU with the lowest self esteem I had ever experienced. After three days of blood transfusions and liquid diet I was sent back out into the world with a new goal. I think it was this pivotal experience in my life which taught me that a lot of the things that I want in my life might take hard work and even suffering.

It started out rocky, and I am always the first to admit that I am far from perfect, but here I am 9+ years later a much healthier women with a wonderful husband, children, and family life. I am thankful beyond belief to God for looking out for me throughout those "lost years" and getting me to the point that I am at today. And yet, still those old thoughts creep back in, and especially in the times of life's seasonal changes. I begin to hear the tiny voice in my head that says that "they deserve better" or that "they'd be better off without me", or that "I am a horrible friend/wife/mother/daughter/sister/niece/neighbor/fill in the title". I've learned several constructive methods for dealing with these times in my life, but I personally believe that there is no perfect and thus there is always room for improvement, so I keep trying. Ever since that time in my life I have always tried to strive for progress in my life and lots of times it takes writing things out like this for me to really be able to see things clearly. I would really like to write my thoughts like this more often, because it really does bring me closer to clarity.

I feel like I am now embarking on the beginning of a new season in my life which may involve professional help, metaphysical help, the support of true friends and most definitely a good bit of introspection and quiet meditation. I face this time with both sadness and excitement and hope that I am blogging in the near future about all of the wonderful progress I've made.


Heat said...

Y'know, I was just talking to my therapist last week about things that I had a good strong rational hold on that were scaring me anyway. In addition to having fear, I was frustrated that I understood completely that X was not connected to Y.

He explained that just knowing something isn't always (often?) sufficient, and that while it's good to know, there's a whole other component.

He is aware that I use visualizations frequently in my life, and he asked me what the fear looked like. I hadn't "seen" it before, so I closed my eyes until it appeared. I described it to him (it was very specific to the situation, not a general "this is what Heat's fear looks like"). Why it looked as it did needed no analysis, and we talked about how to break the cycle using visualizations. It worked fabulously, and any time I have this problem, I have a tool now to try to fix it.

Kinda rambling, but perhaps planting seeds of tools that might be useful?

(I don't know if you read my blog any more, but I blogged about it in more detail — with fewer words — last week, if you're interested.)

Karen L. said...

Tara, Life is ever changing and in constant flux. There are ups and downs for everyone, some having more ups than downs and vice versa. I suppose the challenge is finding your way through or around these changes so that you can "live you life" the way that is best for you. Do what ever it takes to do that!!!!