This time of year, as the days grow shorter, and news of storms hit, I remember early eastern storms that hit several years ago. The early snow fell on trees that hadn’t yet loosed their autumn leaves. So, rather than slip through barren branches, the snow caught on clinging leaves. Weighted by the heavy snow, branches split and broke.
Seeing these trees, I saw a parallel.
When we hold onto emotional hurts, keeping injustice or difficult periods alive in our minds, new hurts have a way of weighting us. Injustices collect, one upon the other, until there’s too much to bear.
The role of stress in illness, imbalance, and disease has been well-documented. If a tree’s branches break under the weight of snow on clinging leaves, what might collected burdens and held hurts do to us?
When one dreaded emotional storm follows another, caused by the sometimes rough seas of life, the burdens can pile up. Remember to shake them off.
Several New Years ago, I remember thinking I’d had one of the roughest years ever. I had broken a bone the first week of January, and life continued with an onslaught of personal and professional storms that at times had me forming emotional callouses, withdrawing, or asking the dreaded why? — for which often there is no logical answer.
This isn’t like me.
Maybe I can’t stop all life’s storms, but I can make helpful choices about how I react. I can remind myself of my more childlike resilient self. I can decide that no matter how devastating, hurtful people and events will not break me. I refuse to ruminate, and keep hurt alive. I can take positive action on things I can change, and let go of things I can’t.
As 2014 comes to a close, I will make like a tree that drops its useless leaves. I will shake myself free.
You can, too.
When icy life storms hit, and resulting “snow” falls, it can then slip past lightened shoulders. When it settles at your feet, shuffle past it.
Flexible and free the path looks bright.
P.S. This might also include lightening the proverbial load by making fewer commitments and taking control of your time.