We all go through seasons in our lives. Whether it’s a period of time, age-wise. A season of friendships. Or time marked by a huge life event (good or bad). Sometimes we want the season to last forever. And sometimes we wish it would end today. Or better yet, yesterday. But mostly, we have no control over it. So, it lasts as long as it lasts.
But what do you do when the season you’re going through drags on and on (for years) and you can’t take another day of it? Complain to friends and family? Check. Complain to the Universe? Check. (Actually, double check.) Call up an old therapist and complain to him/her? Yup. Check.
But with all that “woe is me” and letting it all out…that darned season continues to drag on (the season doesn’t listen, by the way). Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day” and every morning the alarm goes off, and the same song drones on, and I’m expected to keep on sludging through. Again, and again.
I’m expected to hang out with others and act like everything is peachy keen. I’m expected to take the dog out. I’m expected to shower. I’m expected to do the dishes. I’m expected to keep on movin’ on. I’m told I’m super strong and I got this. But what if, on some days, I feel like I don’t? What if it’s summer for everyone else, but it still feels like winter to me?
I don’t even want to give winter a bad rap. Even though I live in California, I love cold weather and I love snow. There are just some days I’m not properly dressed for the harsh temps of life. This isn’t necessarily anything new. I’ve been writing about my current season in this blog for some time now. (My season is a “reorganization” of my career that’s been taking a hell of a lot longer than anticipated.) I was kind of expecting a fairly instant reboot. I mean, I’m Julie F$%&ing Slater, for heaven’s sake (am I right?)! Changing course on my career after decades should be a breeze. (Please insert a hearty LOL here). But instead of springtime roses, I’ve been getting a prolonged, painful, frozen lake that has a few deep cracks in it, so I definitely can’t cross. At least not right now.
And trust me, I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I know I have a pretty great life filled with amazing people. I’m healthy. I’m well-fed (Ok, maybe too well-fed). And I’m loved. And I am grateful for it all. But there’s one thing that’s become crystal clear to me. And if you’re going through a rough season, as well, maybe this revelation will help you, too. Here it is:
NO ONE IS GOING TO SAVE YOU
Phew. Don’t you feel better already?
Sure. People can be there for you. They can be a sounding board. People can shed some light on your problems and give advice. They can even give you a shoulder to cry on. But in the end. It’s all on you. It’s something that can feel rather daunting, but it’s also something that can be a bit freeing. You can finally stop waiting for that glass slipper to show up. Cuz, grrrl, it ain’t comin.’ And I’m trying to make peace with the fact that this is a good thing.
While Groundhog Day is happening to you, over and over again, all the people in your life have their own season to contend with. They have to go to work, feed their kids, do the dishes, and even wipe their own ass. 🙂
No one’s gonna make things better. No one’s gonna clean up your mess. You can scream out “Clean up on aisle 9” over the loudspeaker, but the mop has your name on it.
So, how is this supposed to make you feel better? Well, I think there’s something in the idea that we stop waiting for someone or something to “save” us. Stop waiting for one “thing” or one “person” to make it all better. I’m not sure one thing will ever do it. I think it’s a culmination of things that gets us to the next season. Don’t forget, we don’t just have winter and summer seasons, spring and fall can transition us to both.
When summer hits, flowers don’t suddenly appear. They have to be planted, watered, given some sunlight. And sometimes we fuck it up. We give too much water, not enough sun, or vice versa. Or a bad storm rolls in and topples our garden. But we replant and start all over again. We keep doing it until we do it right. And then we do it again. And again.
My point is – that garden flourishing with beautiful ripe tomatoes had to be nurtured. And you need to nurture yourself, too. Oh, and please, whatever you do – don’t look back at last year’s crop. Or anyone else’s crop for that matter. That’s like asking for an overnight freeze.
“We suffer when we try to attach ourselves to a particular season, the person we were during that season, and the things we thought we had. The truth of the matter is that you never really possess anything — everything in nature is constantly in flux. Life is found in yielding to the river — yielding to the seasons — and allowing the universe to take you on the adventure that it wants you to have.” – Zaid K. Dahhaj
Ahh, that old saying – “Be the river, not the rock.” The more we hold onto our past, the more we try to be the stubborn rock in an ever-flowing river. The river is rushing. Hard. Do you really want to fight against it? Aren’t you exhausted? I can tell you – I am. And sometimes it feels really good to say I’M NOT OK. Cuz some days I’m truly not. But have decided this: I’m not giving up. I’m giving IN. I’m officially pulling up my anchor.
On some days, I WILL conquer the world. And on others, I’ll be rushed down that raging river with wild abandon. I’ll just try to remember to wear a helmet. Cuz right now it’s like this.
Julie Slater, aka THE LOTUS FLOWER, looooves music. Besides being a rabid fan and musician, you may recognize her voice. She’s a voiceover artist and audiobook narrator (www.julieslater.com). She’s DJ’d on top stations: 88.5 FM and 100.3 the Sound in LA and 92.3 K-Rock in NYC following Howard Stern.
When she’s not at concerts, you can usually find her meditating or in the kitchen. She has a slight obsession with deep, dark cabernets & small batch whiskey. Namaste!