It’s November. Around here that means battening down the hatches for Winter.
The garden veggies have all been canned or frozen, the green houses sealed up for the winter, the lawn equipment winterized and the garden mulched with leaves. It’s an annual rite of passage. It marks the transition from summer/fall to winter, a time of rest.
Our annual preps for winter are predictable and usually happen in the last days of October through the first two weeks of November. We can count on it. It is a transition that is expected and anticipated. We have a good idea what’s coming in the months ahead and we can prepare for it.
I wish the same could be said about changes that must inevitably occur in our lives. We think we are prepared for changes in our lives. Truth is, that is seldom the case.
Changes occur in our lives because, I believe, our soul or unconscious mind or whatever it is that animates us is trying to get us, or keep us, on the path that is uniquely ours. It is more common for us to deviate from that path. Social expectations, unforeseen circumstances, financial need, prior programming-yes, you have, to some extent been programmed to believe certain things by those who wish to control you-and pressures from family and friends all contribute to decisions that may lead you to stray from your path.
When we make decisions based on that stuff the alarms seldom go off right away. It may take years before something inside us begins to whisper to us that something is not right. It may be that physical/health problems begin to manifest. We seek help from the allopaths (MDs etc) who are only good at masking symptoms and rarely address the source of what ails you. We may seek help from friends and family who usually have no idea what the real problem is. Some do, but that is the exception and if you have someone who can see what’s going on, good for you! We may seek help from our religious beliefs but that, at best, can only point you in the general direction. No, the problem is not external and it is not up to God to fix it. It’s all on you and it’s about listening. Listening to what you are trying to tell you.
I usually, on some level, know a change is coming because all that stuff listed above starts happening. Sometimes it happens because I have made the wrong decision, sometimes because I have failed to make a decision. That doesn’t mean I recognize it for what its is. Most of the time I pass it off as a stretch of bad luck, or some other external cause. This is not the same as setbacks in our path such as mistakes, blunders or other stumbling blocks. These are opportunities to learn. I mean the nagging feeling that, at base, I am on the wrong path.
When we are on the right path things are easy-most of the time. Things fall into place with little effort. Our efforts seem to always bear fruit. And in these times in our life we are following our bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say. But things change, and so do we. It is the times of transitions that we struggle with the most because we don’t like change. It’s difficult and requires effort to get through it.
I believe God created us to be us. That may sound kinda goofy at first glance. I believe creation is built to accommodate us when we discover who we are and follow our own unique path that only we can create. What others think becomes of no consequence. We no longer need to be lead or told what to do or how to live. This scares the Hell out of those who want control. And aptly so because the need to control is essentially a very childish response to what the world may bring. It is a tantrum, a lashing out at the world because we’re not getting our way. The need of some to control others, and you are surrounded by these people, is several steps backward on their path. Live and let live is not an option for one in the control cage. It is live my way or else. We must struggle against the urge to control. We must recognize that others have their own way and it’s not up to us to try change that. And, regardless of what kind of response you get, you must remind others that this is what you expect of them, too.
Ridding ourselves of the need to control requires a transition. A transition to a state of acceptance. Acceptance of the process of life. That life can unfold in a way that is in harmony with our self. Ultimately, the times of change in our lives are reminders to us that we have strayed and it’s time to get back on course. Many will struggle against this change and end up repeating the process over and over. How do we know which way to go? I don’t know but I think it has something to do with canning tomatoes and mulching the garden.