On my drive to work this morning, I was fortunate to experience a phenomena that I consider nothing short of marvelous. Where I live, there are two streets lined with large, timeworn cherry blossom trees. In the early morning, the sunlight hits them in a way that causes them to glow ethereally. A breath of joy filled my lungs and I felt a quickening in my heart that I haven’t had the privilege of feeling for a very long time.
For the past two years, I’ve been in a season of personal winter. Though I knew it was on its way, I still was not prepared for the long fast that would soon encompass my soul. But today, driving under a canopy of shining pink-white flowers, I felt as if I was finally able to relish in the efforts of that cleansing. Nature has a way of reminding us that change is not only inescapable, but necessary. Nature also has a way of reminding us that unto all things, there is a season.
A Soul’s Winter can be a painful time, especially when unwanted – and I’ve found that winter is almost always unwanted. It feels as if life is without light, and without warmth. It feels as if one must coil inward to protect the essence of who we believe we are. We become within us a seedling, encased in our protective layer and buried in the dark, callous ground.
These winters appear to us in terms we’re able understand in this human form. Often, this fasting is forced upon us in the form of unwanted change through difficult life situations. Winters appear in the form of loss, illness, pain, suffering, or even a flatline in feeling. Life looks bleak and barren, devoid of hope and promise. But these situations are the smoke screens for what is truly happening.
A Soul’s Winter arrives as the Universe is stripping us bare of our Ego.
So often, we build our lives on the foundation of who we think we should be. This foundation consists of societal opinions, familial wishes, or the emulation of those we deem our heroes. We build these foundations with brick upon brick of good intention. What we don’t realize is that these foundational bricks are made of the lies we, and others, tell us about ourselves.
When we enter into a Soul Winter, the Universe is giving us a very clear sign that the life we’ve created is not the life that was intended.
The Universe (or God, or Spirit) is stripping us bare of our leaves, and leaving us rooted, but naked in the cold, to reveal to us the truth of what we truly are. For we can only take our true form by surrendering our false projections. An acorn was never meant to grow into any other form than that of the mighty oak. When we are forced into a winter, it’s as if the Universe is assisting us in realizing that an oak cannot sprout mountains from its branches, only leaves.
This morning, my breath of joy held within it a hope I’d dismissed as possible for quite some time.
It has taken me 104 weeks to realize that the life I’d been building was not at all the life I was to lead.
It has taken me 730 days to understand I had been shutting out the clear voice of my intuition.
It has taken 17,520 hours to comprehend that the blockades put before me weren’t meant to create walls obstructing my path, but were instead acting as blazing arrows, guiding me back to my True North.
For those of you suffering a Soul’s Winter I ask you please, take a moment to become still. Step back from your torment, and look at it with curiosity. You will find in it the direction of the Universe.
Photo Credit: Mona Eendra via Unsplash