This morning as my two youngest children waited for the bus to come they discovered a few brightly colored leaves on the ground. I was excited because since we moved to Maryland I have yet to see a beautiful colored fall. All I have seen is brownish leaves, so to see a few bright orange leaves in my yard, brought a smile to my face, and the kids in turn wanted to make my smile last.
I walked into the house after they got on to the bus with a hand full of their collected bounty. I held the bunch up to my nose and inhaled their sweet fruity aroma. The leaves brought back happy and sad memories of growing up. And tears filled my eyes.
The tears reminded me in this fast paced, must be happy world, that it is okay to let your guard down. It is okay to feel feelings. I had unknowingly built up a few walls to forget. It is easier to not think of things we need to feel, but I know from experience that it is well worth the pain and tears to feel my feelings and to walk through it.
The worlds message is to stuff feelings in a sack and hide it deep down with in. “No one wants to see you sad, and or hear about it.” the world says. People might ask you in passing, “How are you today?” But they really don’t want to hear that you are having a hard time. They want to see a smile and hear, “Good, and you?”
I like to compare the seasons to life’s process. And fall for me is a time to remember and enjoy memories, but also to let the past settle into healthy places so that when winter comes I am ready to serve others and not be sad and focused on myself.
Winter can feel bare and if feelings are left unchecked and unsettled they will bring us down in the starkness of winter. I know it has happened to me. Knowing this about myself, I try to ask God to help me prepare for winter. I challenge you to do the same.
Let the leaves fall, but pick one up and smell it, and if you are brave, collect a hand full. Take a minute to allow whatever memory wants to surface, and one leaf at a time allow yourself to feel and heal. Then ask God to help you through it. It will bring joy in the end. Nothing is as fast as this world claims it to be. Healing takes time, and is a process.
Find a friend you can confide in and let the leaves fall.