January and February are the most frigid months of the year here in Michigan; but here is something to warm your heart, if not your hands! In early February there is an imperceptible event which whispers that winter is passing away! This is when, despite outer appearances, the increasing light of the sun and the warmth of the earth combine to begin an invisible thaw — you may notice that the snow is melting from below after this point, even when it looks firm on top. I always feel an inner joy, knowing this is going on beyond what meets the eye, though winter still believes it is master of the day! In Celtic traditions, February 1st is celebrated as Imbolc or Saint Brigid’s Day; and of course February 2nd is Groundhog Day here in North America. Both celebrate this early awareness that spring is right around the corner.
There is a spiritual metaphor and lesson for us in this transition. It tells us that just when things look darkest and most bleak, change for the better is already in motion. It is a lesson in trust and confidence that warmth exists within the cold, light within the darkness, hope within the hopeless, joy within sadness…nothing is ever just as it seems. On the opposite end, when everything is warm and sunny in life, during summer solstice when the sun is at its highest peak, the earth begins to head toward winter. These invisible shifts happen consistently; and while we like the awareness that when things are bleak there is summer in our future, we are less excited about the opposite effect!
We can observe these same cycles of change within human affairs. When things are going our way, we want them to continue forever and to increase what we desire indefinitely! Then when the opposite wave hits, we resist it. Even worse, we may blame ourselves for it; that somehow we failed. Or we may blame others, and then we feel the need to fight for what we feel is right and good. During these times it helps to recall the spiritual truth that though the ups and downs of life seem like a wheel going round and round, they are really a spiral rising toward our higher potential. What appears to be backsliding, or losing the battle for a better world, is actually a chance for another level of empowerment and growth.
Cycling periodically through the cold and bleak seasons of life is actually an opportunity to grow stronger and more masterful. Instead of blaming someone or hating these challenges, we can use their season of control in our outer world, to deepen our commitment to unconditional love and our inner spiritual life. We can trust that the next level of what we desire is already present, beneath our ability to perceive it, as spring exists within winter, but there nonetheless. It grows stronger as we grow stronger by resisting our own negativity, and choosing the path of self-mastery through whatever cycle life is in.
When we know winter is coming, we pull out our warm clothes and make sure the furnace is checked. In the same way, when we see the world heading into what could be a darker and colder direction, we can prepare. We can shore up our minds and souls making them stronger in the energies of love, truth, trust, forgiveness and spirituality. We can fill our inner store rooms with those sustaining energies, and be prepared to meet whatever the current season on earth throws at us, from a place of greater spiritual maturity and unconditional love. We can also rest assured that whatever the current phase of the spiral of life, the opposite in its time will gain the upper hand and grow stronger; though it will be beyond what meets the eye to begin with.
However you respond to what you experience as opposition in life, there are a few things to remember: You are not a victim, you are stronger than you think! You are a presence of love and truth in the world, and you have within you the potential to partner with the Higher Power to make each season a season of success. Whether your responses are outward – activist, or inward – meditate/pray/heal, let your intentions flow from a place of love, respect for the value of each person and circumstance, and trust in the inevitable upward spiral of life.