Living in Chicago, you are lucky if you get to experience all 4 seasons. Normally you just get winter and summer with an about a month of fall and spring. Fall is in the air now and I’m noticing what an incredible metaphor for life each change of season has. It’s a period of transition…much similar to what has been happening in my own life. I wrote a blog earlier in the year called Manifesting the Vision. In that blog, I spoke about choosing a word that described what you wanted for your life for the year. I do this instead of having New Year’s resolutions. It tends to hold me more accountable. My word for this year was HEAL. It was my intention to heal some things in my life that I refused to acknowledge or deal with previously; either because I didn’t know it or because I refused to see it.
Winter reveals what’s dead in your life. Winter kills things that aren’t strong enough to grow in the cold. Winter showed me all of the things that were dead in my life. I identified the people, things, relationships and dead situations and negative thinking that was dead in my life. I hadn’t stepped away from the pain and shame of a failed marriage; I was still operating out of a victim mentality instead of a survivor mentality. I had moments of strength and courage but there were some things that were buried deep. A pain I refused to deal with. I still hadn’t let go of relationships that didn’t satisfy me or my needs. I was still holding on to dead weight, dead people, dead situations and dead emotions. I was “going with the flow” but like a hamster in a wheel…I wasn’t moving anywhere and I wasn’t truly happy. I was just wearing a mask.
Spring brings about a new birth. The dead things in life’s garden are revealed and lie on the ground dying ready to be disposed of. Ideally, this is the time to plant new seeds, turn that soil over, pulling up weeds and killing whatever hinders your garden from growing. I was trying to plant new seeds in my garden…but pesky weeds kept popping up. Grey area weeds, ex-husband weeds, self-doubt and self-inflicted weeds were dragging me down. I was a poor gardener. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew it was time to get my life’s garden in order, but I wasn’t quite sure what I needed to do and I didn’t have the tools I needed. (At least that’s what I thought at the time). Quite honestly, my life’s garden was a mess and so was I. That mask was getting heavier and heavier, I was bound to break soon.
Summer is hot and if you aren’t careful to water your garden, things wilt and die (dreams, goals, plans, relationships). You have to nurture them constantly with living water. I found myself neglecting my garden and the seeds I tried to plant in spring were suffocating and dying. I didn’t know how to maintain it so I just ignored it. I was neglecting my plan to leave relationships that didn’t honor me, allowing self-doubt and feelings of failure and inadequacy to creep back in again. I had an annoying narcissistic weed that was choking the life out of the last of the good fruit I had remaining. My garden was overflowing with “weeds”, so much so, you couldn’t’ see the fruit and the flowers trying to bloom. The mask I was wearing became too heavy and I couldn’t’ wear it anymore. It was too much and I broke. FINALLY! Having the mask I was wearing removed from me allowed me to see with new eyes. It was time to get to work in the garden of my dreams. I put on my Gardner clothes and grabbed my tools. It was time to clear the garden and get rid of stuff at the root. It was a dirty job, pulling things up from the root. I had to get down in the dirt.
I had a bag full of weeds by the time I finished clearing out my garden. This wasn’t a “weekend project” kind of thing either. It took time!!! I finally walked away from that grey area relationship; I begin to actually deal with the pain, hurt and anger I still had inside of me. I stopped thinking about “him” and “what he did” and put the focus where it belonged…on me! I begin to really focus on what I wanted and how I intended to get it. What kind of woman did I want to be and how could I become better. I took time to be still and quiet. I took the time to process anger and grief. I’m taking all the time I need. I wasn’t going to rush my healing this time. I had to go through all the stages of the grief instead of trying to “speed race” my way to healing. I was ready to get rid of some things for good. After all…this was supposed to be the year right? Slowly but surely, I began to pull those dead weeds from my garden and began to water it with encouragement, love, positivity, and faith. This was my life’s garden and I was the only one responsible for it. It would be up to me to make my garden fruitful, fragrant and beautiful.
Life has its seasons and it’s up to us to discover the lessons in each of them. I had to take a long look in the mirror and see things I didn’t want to see…my own faults, my own contradictions, my own frailties and deal with them honestly. It hasn’t been easy…many times it has hurt like hell and been very painful. Quite honestly, I’m still in the midst of it all. It’s a journey and I had to start taking ownership of it and reclaim my time! (Shout out to Auntie Maxine!!!) I’m in a new season right now. I’m in a season of loving myself, bettering myself, correcting and acknowledging my mistakes. Forgiving myself and letting go of the shame and guilt I felt for staying in a relationship with someone who never honored me. I’m in this season of growth, change, healing, and restoration and for the first time in a year, I feel lighter. I’m no longer bound to wearing a mask that projects something that’s merely a mirage. I’m a beautifully flawed individual who’s just trying to figure it out as best as I can. It’s amazing what happens when you just let it all go.
I started to find my voice, my stride, and my focus again. I began to write with a new purpose, with more transparency and vulnerability and my websites grew! Months of writer's block turned into an overflow of ideas, new content, and creativity. I was excited about the things I was writing, I loved what was coming out of me through my pen! I’m embracing the art of telling my stories in song, blogs, and poetry. I’m creating a community of women who are just like me, desiring to live better in every area of their lives. I’m doing what I love when I’m writing or performing. I’m raising my children in a home that is stable and full of love and encouragement. I’m connected to amazing sister-friends who have helped me along this journey and I’m even slowly opening my heart to love again. I had to remember how truly blessed I was…in spite of it all, I’m surrounded by more good than bad. Sometimes we forget to put the focus on where it belongs and allow insignificant people, things, and events cloud our vision.
As I enter this new season in my life, I enter it with a sense of anticipation and excitement at what awaits me. I can’t wait to see the seeds planted during this time come alive in my spring! I learned to be patient, not everything grows at the same speed.
What is for me will happen…IN DUE SEASON!
Until next time, Take care of yourselves and one another