Life is shaped and defined by the storms we endure, as well as by the quieter moments of peace and reflection that we unearth amongst the chaos. The seasons always change, the balmy days of summer turn to the autumn dank; the clouds gather and the cold then comes, but then the shoots emerge and the days grow longer once again. We have days when it all feels like too much and we just want to retreat and close the curtains to the world, yet we also have days where everything seems to come together when the planets align and it all feels just right in our hearts and souls.
Sometimes life feels broken and beyond repair, but it’s important to know that nothing is ever truly irreparable. In time, we can restore balance as we find ways to flourish and thrive despite the challenges we’ve faced. We might break or bleed, but we also grow courage and strength, wisdom and knowledge. There is something beautiful about courage and the human resolve, the spirit to turn towards hope and faith; to have the belief that, even amongst the rubble, new shoots and new growth can grow and blossom.
In truth, within our hearts and souls, we continue to grow during times of drought and times of harvest; we have times in bloom and times in the shade, but we always grow, whatever the weather. In fact, we grow because of the weather. We evolve because of the challenges we face, each one making us stronger, brighter and wiser. We learn how to breathe in sync with the world as it breathes in sync with us. Sometimes we have to bend and flex with the ebb and flow, but there are times when we need to stand strong in our own resolve, trusting that the flow will soon move with us rather than against us.
Even when we feel lost, isolated, alone or overcome by despair, we can still find wonder and hope. It can be hard to feel joy in moments of pain, but we can breathe deeply and remember the happiness, the friendships, the love. In many ways, love is our constant companion, particularly in our own hearts; it’s the lack of love that leads to a decline, where our spirit withers as we fade into desolation and oblivion.
Love is not just limited to what we receive from others as it’s so much more than that. It’s how we love ourselves, our lives and life. Love comes from our willingness to live wholeheartedly and open-heartedly. It’s finding joy in the simple things which are the truly magical things, from the blackbird singing to the sound of the waves lapping the shore. It’s the simple things in life that have the capacity to bring us the most love and warmth as they remind us of the true magnificence of life.
During times of darkness and fear, we may retreat and recoil, fearing the darkness as it envelops us. Yet, just like the changing seasons, the darkness is beautiful as it’s adorned with stars which twinkle there as a shining reference point giving us a sense of purpose and a sense of direction as the constellations guide us and show us the way. They also give us a sense of connection and unity as they are familiar and always there when we look up into the night sky. It warms the soul to know that when we gaze up at the stars, someone somewhere else is doing the same and we know we are never truly alone.
Although we may fear the darkness, in many ways it’s where we shine the brightest and it’s where we find wisdom and compassion. It’s the place where we have a chance to cross a threshold towards freedom and pastures new. We may be imperfect, wounded, hurting or grieving, but this is what makes us beautiful and bright. We may be delicate, but our spirits are invincible at the same time. It has been written many times that the most damaged and the most broken amongst us shine the brightest.
We are not static or immovable, we are always flowing and moving. Even when we feel trapped and overcome, there is movement and flow; it just might take a while to discover it, but when we do, we can see the future ahead of us, smiling gently with its arms wide open. There can be no illusion that the future isn’t always bright and rosy, as it can be full of challenge and pain, and yet we have a choice: do we recoil at the fear of what might lie ahead or do we stand up and make a declaration to live the best life possible whatever comes ahead? It takes courage, strength and self-belief, and we can understandably lack these when the darkness sweeps in, but it’s still there, deep within our hearts and souls, and the more we can breathe into this, the more we realise that what truly matters isn’t the challenge itself, but what we make of it and what we do with our beliefs, perspective and imagination. It’s what we allow to thrive that matters more than anything.
We sometimes spend our time looking back on what could have been or what should have been, chastising ourselves for not doing more, being more or achieving more, but it’s important to remember that time only moves in one direction. The past can inform the future, but time isn’t like the tides with an ebb and flow as we can’t go back and change what was, it’s what we have now that matters most. So we need to learn to go with that flow and to move forwards with hope and inspiration; of course, change isn’t just a loss, change can be an opportunity for something new. Endings happen all the time as they open up the gateway for beginnings. So, when the weather shifts and turns cold, and the darkness comes, instead of focusing on the desolation, we need to focus on the hibernation and energy within. When times get challenging, we still have what it takes to blossom and thrive.
When we gaze within towards the garden of our soul, we see that not every flower is blossoming and bright, some have withered and some have yet to grow. As a result, sometimes we feel like the rain, cold or sunshine become hostile forces, failing us, yet, when we gaze at the buds, even the ones fading from view, we can sense their life, their energy, their beauty and their perfection. Their colour and their beauty live inside us and, if we’re lucky enough to smell their fragrance, like a whisper in the air, it stays with us and remains in our hearts forever, reminding us to grab life with both hands and inspiring us to live in the moment, savouring all we have.
From pain comes hope and from loss comes strength. With each passing day, new challenges appear, but new hope twinkles, just like the stars hanging above. If we forget, when we look skyward, we are reminded of the twinkling magic that resides within our hearts and souls. As the seasons change, both within and without, it’s time to embrace each new dawn with vigour and hope until the sun blazes its last rays and we become one with the stars once again…