Earlier today I began writing a post called, “It’s up to us. All of us.” Then while looking for something to help finish it off, I came across something I’d written on ‘Seasons’. The opening line was, “Life Happens…”.
Seeing as this was the first of yesterday’s Random Musings, felt a little bit too coincidental to let pass. So here’s an abridged version*.- Original was a talk for people parenting alone. Check back tomorrow for the post that almost was : )
*Tis still a cuppa’s length of a read, so you may wanna get a coffee, tea, or refreshment of another kind…
Life happens… Some friends of mine might substitute ‘life’ with something else : )
Each day that we are granted breath, life goes on. With or without our active participation. The sun rises and sets, the clocks turn, loos -where people have them- are flushed… The ‘everyday’, happens everyday. And for the most part, has a natural or accepted rhythm to them. This may seem an obvious point. But I think it is an obvious point that we can sometimes forget.
The seasons of our life change, and change in itself is not bad. As the poem Seasons points out, the seasons change for a reason. Bringing with them a variety of different things: ‘turning points’, ‘transition’, “life and love to the world”. The other side of that though, is that not all change is welcome. Sometimes the change in seasons brings with it unexpected challenges, loss, and being stretched to almost breaking point. Maybe you can identify with that. You might even be able to relate with the autumn, winter, spring, summer idea. Or maybe you’ll relate more to Southeast Asia’s 2 seasons of hot & dry, hot & wet.- With floods thrown in.
When in this place of unwelcome change or a difficult season, it is probable that we ask questions such as: “Why is this happening?”; “When will this end?”; “Where is God?”; “If there is a God, then…?”
In the past, I’ve asked those questions, or similar. I even wrote a poem once called ‘Are you there God?’. I can’t remember what was going on at the time, or what kind of season I was in. But I was obviously having some crisis of faith or something, and felt alone in it.
Seasons come, seasons go, For everything there is a season… Something echoed by some verses in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-12 (NLT)
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – #The despairing writer
You will not always be in the season you are in now. A new season will come along.
Depending on what’s going on for you right now, “When?” may be the question on your lips/in your heart. I honestly can’t tell you. And I do not want to gloss over the time it may take. As the above says, there is “A time to cry… A time to grieve…“. Trying to suppress those feelings, or just ‘joy’ our way out of them is not good for us.
The Disney film Inside Out (2015) illustrates this well. Key characters in the film are the emotions (Joy, Anger, Sadness, & Disgust) of a little girl called Riley. She’s had to move to a new town and is not enjoying it. Watch this short clip and then I’ll wrap this up:
The ‘Circle of Sadness’… I wonder if this clip connected in any way? Joy was so convinced that what Riley needed was to always be happy, that she tried to micro-manage everything. Including locking up/off Sadness. Something that by the end of the film, she eventually realises was a big mistake.
Just as the change in seasons is necessary for the earth, – part of the natural process needed to sustain it and us who live on it – so are our emotions a natural part of how we live and navigate the circumstances and seasons of life we find ourselves in. I know we can’t just let ourselves be carried away by every emotion, however, please don’t put sadness in a circle.
I also know our lives are generally not Disney films with the hoped for neatly wrapped ending, but I have to hope there’ll eventually be a shift. Even if purely because we are just daily putting one foot in front of the other. Both literally and metaphorically.
For those who’d appreciate some suggested steps on what to do when life happens, I’ve borrowed (with permission) some from Judith A.M. Denton.London (CEO and founder of a Social Enterprise):
- Accept it
- Acknowledge how you feel
- Look for the message or the lesson to be learnt in what has taken place
- Re-evaluate your Life
- Surround yourself with positive supportive people
- Don’t get stuck! Move forward at your own pace, life is not a race
Visit Judith’s blog post, ‘What Do You Do When Life Happens?’ for more.