Like planet Earth, our lives are composed of seasons. Unlike planet Earth, the seasons of our lives are less predictable. We cannot guarantee our frosty winters will be followed with a revitalising spring. That ahead of our revitalising spring lays a homely summer.
The only certainty we can hold onto is that the world around us is in a state of constant change. Nothing exists in isolation. Ecosystems are in a constant dance. Climates and weather in constant upheaval. And our lives are in a constant renewal with new seasons soon to be upon us. Embracing those realities enables living in the present season, to appreciate the positives and negatives that are offered to us in this moment, whether the season feels like a winter of despair or a spring of hope.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ― Albert Camus
Welcoming the idea of change and embracing the present season means not letting past seasons define you. To do so would means bringing hurt into our present lives. No matter how much self-loathing you level at yourself for moments of regret, the past won’t change by doing so. Maktub — it is written.
Accepting what has been enables growth in the now. You may not be where you were hoping to be... but let it be so. Healing goes hand-in-hand with self-acceptance and carrying the lessons learned forward. Clinging to the beauty of the past means ending up with ashes in the present moment. Accepting the ashes of the past allows you to build for beauty in the present and future.
And should you find yourself in a dark, Antarctic season where it’s hard to see any positives, where it feels like demons are surrounding you, consider for a moment how plants and trees grow. Seeds sprout from the dark, dirty and messy soil. This very soil acts as a magical cradle for new life and light. A difficult season can be turned into growing grounds for your future by planting positive seeds into the soil of your life. Focusing and nurturing those positive seeds today is what will allow you to harvest your crops in future, brighter seasons.
A Man of Integrity
Looking at my own present season, it feels like one of building, patience and intentional growth. My aspirations for the future are clear but no amount of willpower can bring forward the future. Timing is everything. And to try and do so would mean missing the opportunities of the day. What is in my control is to intentionally invest this season by taking one step at a time towards that future.
Reflecting on past seasons and the future seasons I aspire to have helped me see traits I’d like to strengthen in the meantime. One of them is cultivating the value of integrity, which I’ve defined as internal and external consistency. Ensuring my words and actions are always in alignment. How I’m going about that is tracking my progress over three months in my bullet journal. Days where I’m not in alignment will be marked pink with a reflection on what it would mean to have integrity in those situations. Days where I am in alignment will be marked blue with a reflection on the wins.
Vote for Future Seasons
This means growing not only for myself but for those I hold important in my life. The actions and positive seeds planted in this season are a vote for the person you wish to be in future seasons. Progress may be slower than desired, but the outcomes and harvests of our future seasons are a lagging measure of how we approach the current season we find ourselves in.