“Depth isn’t acquired in a day. It can’t be purchased. It can’t be feigned. It is the gift we receive over time. Over heartbreak. Over earthquakes. Over the accumulations of all acts of love that we allow in.
Depth requires that we learn what to release and what to stay with. What to take responsibility for and what to give back to its rightful owner. What to hold and what to act on. Depth requires we move through cycles. Allowing our leaves to fall away like the trees teach us. Allowing our energy to drop down into the roots like the plants teach us. Allowing ourselves to move into the healing dark like this season teaches us.” -Chani Nicholas
I just walked, no stood, stuck like boots-suctioned-in-mud-stuck through a season of internal adversity. A season where all my best laid plans, all my foundations, all my sure footed ground had arrows shot at them, earth-quaked underneath them. My daughter is having emotional difficulty with school and we are struggling to figure out why. People talk and have questioned the very core of who I am and what I stand for. My marriage experienced a darkness like we’ve never experienced in our 15+ years together. And these are just a couple examples. I lamented, cried, got belligerent, threw temper tantrums, pouted, and wanted to quit. And yet, through this season, I knew I’d been here before. Not *this* exactly, but I knew I had experienced a period of trial and of silence. “Wait for the light.” “Wait for the release.” “Stop struggling against what you are feeling.” These were the answers I heard in response to my fits and became the only steadiness to cling to…
Why do we encounter seasons of life where, “Wait,” seems to be the answer? Not yes. Not no. Not turn to the left or to the right.
Begin now to wait.
I wait with confident expectation that answers will come. I hope with assurance that the moments that feel like everything is falling apart, it is, in fact, simultaneously falling together. When seasons of darkness arise and the future is unknown, when the footholds crumble, when there is internal adversity, when it feels like paralysis—I must begin to wait. I believe the season of waiting is the only time and space where depth can develop. When I am running, grass cannot grow beneath my feet, let alone establish strong deep roots. And so if I do not choose to stop and allow for pause, it WILL come by other means. In the mud and muck, I am forced to examen. I can do nothing more than sink into the questions of what to hold onto and what to let go of when I’m not flying to the next thing. As I wait, leaves of excess can drop, energy can return to roots of strong foundations, I can soak up the acts of love and healing in preparation for the next season.
If you are in a season of Wait, or next time you find yourself there, let courage rise up. As you wait, let awareness sink deep into the sub terrain. Confidently expect, that when the waiting ends, new life is waiting to Rise up.
Expectation is the strong belief that something will happen. While you wait, if you are confidently expecting, it is imperative that your strong belief lies in the correct place–that the ground you are sinking your roots into is fertile. Practically speaking, aligning beliefs during a season of waiting can be found through the practice of non-attachment (yoga ethical practice of Aparigraha). Here is your challenge as you wait:
•Allow emotions to ebb and flow. Don’t get entangled with avoiding “bad” feelings and extending “good” ones
•See with clarity of mind. See through to the truth
•Allow life to unfold without forcing
•Taste the flavor of every experience. The sweet, bitter, savory…
•Respond to the heartache of the world with compassion rather than anger
•Find willingness to let go of tightly held beliefs, not because you don’t believe them any longer, but because with open hands they can be held tenderly while making room for old to slip away and new to find their place.
As you wait, may your depth increase. And may you go from this season with new life, new passion, and a stronger purpose. I know I have.