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Surviving the Seasons

Week of 11/2/2019. Intention: Embracing change. Ah! The seasons! Depending on one's location on the earth, this could mean the four seasons in a temperate zone, the rainy or dry season in a tropical zone, or planting and harvesting seasons. There are seasons of life, seasons of the heart, and holiday seasons. The thing about seasons is, they come whether we are ready for them or not. There are times we open our arms and welcome seasons like an old, familiar friend. Then there are other times when the approaching seasons may bring negativity, fear, or even pain. How do we "weather the storm" and stay "centered" even when things are changing, most of the times out of our control, around us?

Here is a excerpt from the book "The Prophet," by Kahlil Gibran, entitled "On Pain:"

On Pain

Kahlil Gibran - 1883-1931

"And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
     And he said:
     Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
     Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
     And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
     And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
     And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief."

From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.

So Kahlil Gibran suggests to "accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields." Like the plants in the fields, we must hold fast to our roots, return to our center, and embrace that our True Self is never-changing and never leaving. The rest of the poem reminds us that we are not alone in our journey:

"Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears."

When we can practice centering enough to be able to "watch with serenity" through the changing seasons, and when we can surrender our own plans and fear to hold the hand of the Unseen, sometimes even minute by minute, the seasons have a way of softening us, and molding us into the beings God meant us to be.

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