I’ve become increasingly interested in the idea that our life goes through seasons. Yes, of course we go through the actual seasons – spring, summer, fall, winter – but in addition to that, we go through our own, individual seasons. Seasons which are specific to each of us and fluctuate over time.
It’s the explanation of why for a few weeks, or maybe even months, you don’t really feel like doing that thing that you have done for a long time. Not, just a lack of motivation, or are too lazy, or too busy, but a genuine, “that is not serving me right now and making me happy to do that,” kind of thing. Those slumps in creativity we may feel or try to push through, or those periods of writers block where we have these big plans which we can’t formulate into fruitful ideas.
And it’s really easy to put up this wall of resistance. This push back where we beat ourselves up and say “but why is this happening, what is wrong?” “This is my job/passion/favorite thing/livelihood, and this can’t be happening.” It’s really easy to try to push through anyways, forcing it, making it come even though it is not there, and coming up with all the things that must be bad or wrong about us because we are a bit off or a bit in a slump. Or a bit out of season.
We’re not really good at having compassion for ourselves. If we were to talk to a friend who told us he or she was struggling with something and having a hard time getting motivated to start, or always hitting a dead end and losing steam, we would likely say something like “it’s okay, it will come back. Maybe you just need a break, or a change.” We would essentially tell them, “you’re in a different season, and the seasons come and go and change and flow.”
And yet, we never say that to ourselves. We never allow ourselves to have this ebb and flow, and times where things may be up or down, or changing. Or just not in season.
This last little while for me, blog writing hasn’t been in season. And for the longest time, I beat myself up over it, asking why I wasn’t feeling like doing it, why I couldn’t just sit down and spit out words on to paper, edit some photos and hit publish. My mind wandered to all the times I had done it before when I didn’t really feel like it on that particular morning, or to the days when I would be in a bit of a writing slump and the words didn’t flow very well, and why on all those days, all those times, I just did it anyways.
But just like every once in a while, baking cakes falls out of season, and microwaving them seems like the better, faster, most efficient option to get cake into my mouth, so too do the other things of our life. Let it be. Let it come and go and move along. Recognize that if it’s something that you truly want and truly hold in the right place in your heart, than just like the sun and warmth always come back in the summer, so too will this season for you. Seasons end. But they also restart. Give yourself some compassion, sit with the change for a while and allow it to teach you whatever it is you need to learn. Even if that is just the need to make microwave cakes instead of baking in the oven.