Spring is coming.
Ok, so perhaps that proclamation does not quite carry the same dramatic weight as Ned Stark’s meteorological prophecies, but there’s still an important idea somewhere in those three words. Winter has exited stage left, taking with it the deep introspection and pervasive darkness that marks the season. The stasis and stagnation of the coldest months is giving way to growth and rebirth and color is returning to nature again. It is time for the shadows to recede and for light and life to come back to us.
A personal winter seems also to be winding down and yielding slowly to spring and life renewed. In leaning into the pain during the last year, I have also leaned into shadowed and darkened places within myself. In the darkness of a long winter, there has been time to slowly take apart some things that have been troublesome and unapproachable by the light of day. I’ve had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions about the whys and hows of those bothersome issues.
The sum result of all this introspection is this – I have, in some important ways, failed myself. While I could write a volume or two about it, it can be summed up in a few salient points. The first is that I have allowed myself to let fear and guilt keep me in a very destructive work environment under the thumb of someone who on their best of days is a bully and on the worst is a textbook example of sociopathic behavior. The second is that I have failed to listen to my mind and body’s many warning shots that something has been amiss because I have been so wrapped up in that work situation. The third, and thankfully last, is that I have been I have failed to listen to those voices which warned me about the two previous points – both internal and external, human and other.
Recognizing failure is one thing. Do something about it is quite another. Action, growth, and change are necessary, however, and I have spent much of the new year working to rectify the failures. I have parted ways with the troublesome employer in favor of a workplace where there is a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. I am attempting to not just listen to but actually understand what my body is telling me, although it is with the same slowness and misunderstandings of learning any new language. Being more mindful of the words of my allies has been the easiest of the changes by far because the trust I have in those voices is still very much intact and I am painfully aware of what ignoring them can cost me. These are just first steps on a long journey, but they are steps in a much needed change of direction.
So, yes, springs is coming and with it, a promise of new growth and change. And it’s about time.