One of the things I love the most about spring is that it is steeped in anticipation and awakening. I love the air, the promise of new life, and the anticipation of more…it feels wonderful. Outside is warm and crisp and after a long winter, it is like water when you are long past thirsty. Spring is a time when I feel hopeful because the promise of possibility is everywhere. And I got to thinking…why does it feel so good? Why does it feel so much more than just visceral? Why does it awaken my mind, my heart, and my desire to fully live? The answer, for me, is that the promise of possibility also exists deep within me, not just in the air around me…THIS, I am learning from a close friend.
My friend has taught me so much about what it means to be the author of my own story and how life giving it can be. He just lives his life – fully, completely, and always with anticipation of all life has to offer. He embraces the ride – the ups, downs, curves, and dead-ends. He doesn’t worry what others are doing. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t even occur to him; for him, one is not related to the other. He walks his path and doesn’t ask others to walk it for him. He supports the people he loves on their walk, but recognizes they must walk it. He loves himself and others well, without condition or judgment. He has mastered the art of “live and let live” and does it flawlessly. What he does sounds like a simple concept that we should all instinctively know how to do…but when you really think about it, few of us actually live and love this way. Most of us compare ourselves to others, measure our decisions against some bizarre yardstick of self worth, and ignore the fact that our life/adventure is our own and should not be compared to others. We rob ourselves of precious time and the emotional and mental energy that comes along with it. And then we wonder why we feel inadequate. My friend is teaching me that I will never know peace as long as I continue to do this.
So many of us have become captive to definitions and standards that are not our own; I know I have. Our communities and environments influence us, whether we want to admit it or not; being influenced by the external can be a beautiful and enlightening thing. It becomes negative when it causes us to feel inadequate, defeated, or calls us to less of who are meant to be. My environment (and the people in it) admittedly influences me – it is a healthy place to live but it hasn’t always been. I have often felt inadequate. I have relentlessly compared my “behind the scenes reel” to others’ final, polished version. And I have wasted precious time and emotion.
My friend is teaching me that I am responsible for exploring and defining what healthy means for me; I decide who is worthy of influencing and shaping my life because this is my path. He is teaching me, by example that I get to define and redefine myself. He is teaching me about knowing what I need, feeling confident in my knowledge, and walking my path with fortitude and authentic humility. He is teaching me that there is freedom and peace in embracing my adventure for what it is…and it feels liberating to truly author my own story.
Spring is about the promise of possibility.
Spring is about renewal.
Spring is about writing a new story.
Spring is about you….and spring doesn’t have to be seasonal.