“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu
Last week I talked about how critical the “winters” are in our personal growth. Sure, spring struts around claiming all the credit for the beauty and rebirth we see this time of year. But as I mentioned last week, the cold dark days of winter are vital to this magnificent explosion of new life.
Because it is during the dark times, when it seems like nothing’s happening, that all the magic is taking place beneath the surface.
The same is true with the setbacks or challenging times in our own lives.
Those dark phases, as painful as they can be, are not wasted time. They hold the key to the discovery of our true power.
Once we begin to see the gifts within the “winters,” the dark days feel a little more manageable, because we know they’re serving a purpose. And knowing this positions us to begin to see the truth of who we are –
Embarking on a new season in our personal lives, whether it’s a new goal or a complete life overhaul, can bring out our deepest fears and doubts. Letting go of the familiar, trusting that we will find a way to make it happen – these are the leaps of faith required in bringing our dreams to life.
By seeing the treasures within the "winters," learning and growing stronger and wiser for the darkness, we ready ourselves to walk into the sunlight, arms open wide and head held high.
You see, while challenging times create precious growth within us, if we want to truly step into the next goal or phase in our lives, we have to be willing to let the winters go.
Let them go.
How easy is it to get stuck in the story of our challenges or dark times? I’ve done it so many times. Holding onto the pain from minor setbacks like running injuries, to complete devastation like losing my hero – my dad.
But when we cling to the pain, we stay stuck in the winter. The groundhog sees his shadow and scurries back into his den, declaring springtime on hold.
Here's the deal:
We need to honor the setbacks, the heartbreaks, the dark times; see their value in our personal growth and cherish them as beautiful new beginnings in disguise.
And then let them go.
Mother nature has this perfected:
Once germination is complete, the seedling sheds its seed coat and emerges, full-strength, to grow into its glorious full potential. If that seedling tried to carry its seed coat with it, its growth would be stunted.
No, that seedling knows to hold onto it just long enough that it serves its growth, and then let it go.
Springtime is my favorite time of year. It serves as a reminder, every single year, that no matter how challenging things have been, we have everything we need inside us to bloom into the magnificent version of ourselves that’s been germinating inside us all along.
Cheers to new beginnings.
As always, if you know someone who needs this message today, please share it with her.