For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” -Cynthia Occelli
It’s taken me a long time to truly realize the beauty in the seasons.
Not just on the earth, of course…but within ourselves.
For a minute there, I thought I was stuck. I really thought I lost myself completely. In a way, I did… But for the first time in a long time–maybe even ever, I can say that I’m not at all ashamed of that.
I think society has created this unrealistic expectation of perfection. That we always need to be okay. Resilient. Happy, organized, together.
It’s not real, friends. Nothing about that is real.
Life is about growth, change, evolution of mind, body, spirit. Mother Nature does this all the time…the sunshine fades, the clouds fill. They get dark and gray and angry…and then they pour, pour, pour. Sometimes it’s destructive, sometimes it’s gentle, sometimes it’s constant and seems never ending, and sometimes it’s very brief. But eventually, it brings new fruit. It always brings about new life.
Take a second to recognize that we are a part of nature, not apart from it. And although we try to pretend, we are living, breathing, growing, thriving, changing things. We are natural. We aren’t perfect. And that truth is so very beautiful, no? It’s actually a wonderful relief. We are supposed to go through seasons.
Life happens. Change happens. Transition happens. Death happens. Growth happens.
And sometimes that knocks us down and it looks and feels really ugly. I want you to honor that and know that it’s okay! It’s okay to go through a really, really, really tough time. It’s okay to feel dark or numb or confused during a time of healing. Of growth.
In 2010 my brother took his own life.
There was a huge part of myself that died that October night. I lost so much of myself.
Once I started to heal, I realized that a lot of those parts of me needed to die. It was okay to grieve and it was okay to feel lost and depressed and admit that this tragedy changed me. Life was rarely kind to our family and in turn I wasn’t always the best person. And I became even more awful for a time being…some would say a long, long time. But, you know what? I needed to. I needed to feel everything and then nothing. I needed to punish the world and people and myself in order to learn that living that way is simply not the way. I needed time to heal in my own way, at my own pace.
His passing pulled out so much of my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood that I had run from myentire life. So much pain and damage. I went through a tremendous setback. Not yet realizing that God was propelling me forward.
I got so far, morphed somewhat into a better human being, but continued to distract myself, numb myself, run, run, run. I ran from the darkness. I became stagnant. Refused to grow any further.
I clung to my past and my pain and my habits because changing any of those things about myself would first require me to expose them, face them directly, face my past and my hurt long enough to let them go. Just because I ran from my past, does not mean I had made peace with it yet. Not letting it touch me at all hindered my healing tremendously.
And you know what? It caught up to me. Motherhood happened, marriage, life, change, transition. It happened. And it pulled it out of me. And I lost my footing, and myself. And now that I realize this, I’m peeking out of the darkness and I’m stepping into my new sense of self. The one that survived. The one that grew from the depths, slowly, slowly, slowly, without me even realizing, until I just was. I purged it out, I felt it all, I let it come to pass. It was ugly and awkward and painful. But I survived it. And here I am.
Still shaking, still forever growing, shedding, learning, healing. But so much more renewed.
So much more clarity. So much more peace.
What I’m realizing is that God not once tells us that we are perfect, nor that we need to be. He never tells us that we are whole. That we are going to be protected from pain. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. Jesus came to tell us how very broken and lost we are. He teaches us that the closer we get to Him the more we will be cast from the world, rejected.
What a relief that is. To know that the confusion, that feeling of needing more from this world is actually a spiritual calling that we feel in order to get closer to our Father. To get closer to the person we were meant to be, the person He willed us to be.
How beautiful it is to break apart and crumble in order to start anew. To die in a spiritual sense, in order to be reborn.
This is a new year for me. Of growth and change. A time to flourish, to shine, to encourage. To find true joy and center and to nurture and protect that.
And so I want to remind you….The one hiding your pain. The one feeling stuck, feeling lost, feeling forgotten. The one feeling as though you’ll never get out of this cycle.
I want you to know that you ARE growing.
You ARE brave.
You ARE beautiful.
You ARE loved.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. You are going through your storm. Your season of growth isn’t just coming, sweet friend, it’s already happening. God hasn’t forgotten you. The universe has not forgotten about you.
You are about to reap the rewards. You will wake one day and your storms will have stopped. And your soul, your spirit, your heart and mind will have blossomed. It will be different. YOU will be different. Because you needed to be all along.
Welcome this season. And the ones to come again and again and again. Be gentle with yourself as you learn to navigate. Like that little sprout pushing through the earth for the very first time, take your time. Honor and nurture this time. Ask yourself and God to reveal to you what it is you need to learn from this, why your soul feels so tired, why you feel so broken down, and ask how you can be renewed.
Then, anticipate the great change that is coming for you. Because it is. And you are almost there.
With love and light,