Have you ever looked at a tree in the winter and thought to yourself, “Well, that sucker’s deader than a doornail?” Or am I the only person that thinks in such blunt terminology? At this time of year, trees look practically barren to the human eye – no leaves, no buds, and no signs of life. Sometimes, we can look and feel the same way, especially in the dead of winter. Lacking sunshine to motivate us, many people find themselves confronting the holiday doldrums or the winter blues. We just have no energy and become lethargic and depressed. Faced with holiday jingles and commercials filled with joyful jingles and happy families when our own lives may not resemble the ones on the television screens or in print ads, it’s easy to feel inadequate and discontent.
I urge you to hang on because spring is coming. Remember that winter is but one season in the cycle of life. Even though we can’t see life in that barren tree, there is much activity taking place deep on the inside, preparing it for the newness of spring. Before long, the buds will appear on the trees again. You’ll see flowers appear where no signs of life existed only a short time ago. In the summer heat, as the branches fill with leaves, you’ll enjoy finding shelter under those same trees that once appears dead. And in the fall, when the leave are on fire with color, you’ll bask in their beauty (until it’s time to rake them all up!)
Recovery is a lot like this; we endure a barren season resting up and digging deep within ourselves finding the reserves of strength needed to move forward. It may be uncomfortable and seem quite bleak if we’re honest. If only there were some other way…but the only way out is through. If we press on, we’ll find that progress is made one step, one breath, one heartbeat at a time. Don’t lose hope; spring is coming. We can’t see air, yet we continue to breathe, right? Have you ever considered the number of muscles necessary to inhale and exhale? We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If even one muscle failed to do its job, I daresay we’d have a serious problem.
Spring is coming; followed by summer, then fall and soon another winter. Be ready and enjoy whatever season you find yourself in. Each season serves a purpose. It is designed to prepare you for the next level of your journey. Learn as much as you can at each step and be prepared to share with someone else something you have learned along the way. One thing I know is that we are bound to repeat the same experiences over and over until we have learned what is necessary to move to the next level. Embrace change, don’t fear it. It’s a masterful teacher so be an eager student. Life is full of tests; but a wise man told me that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Do you want something different? There’ll be a changing scene in 2016, so be ready, get set, go!