April is synonymous with Spring and with it comes an inner awareness of the potential for new beginnings in both our individual and collective lives. Symbolically, the ever increasing hours of light activate a brightening in our minds, emotions, and in our spirits; encouraging us to examine the possibilities that have been germinating during the last days of winter and to then step forth to courageously plant these new seeds in fertile soil. And yet, despite these outward and inward surges of light energy, and our inner urgings to move forward, we are only too aware of the darkness that continues to pervade our lives and our communities.
One of our deepest spiritual needs is the need to feel connected to others, to feel that we belong and are important; and yet during this international crisis, this time of social distancing and separateness, many are crying out even in their silence, for acknowledgment of their value and of the contributions they have made. During these difficult times it is essential to recall that what we once loved will remain forever with us.
The symptoms of acute grief being experienced as a result of the social and economic costs of this dark time, coupled with the major changes to our family and community norms and routines, are I believe only beginning to surface and will require each of us to decide if we choose to remain in the chaos or to experience the opportunities that this and any turning point in our lives affords.
A turning point is a time after a major change, when things will never again be the same. Anytime we go through a turning point, we grieve for not only what we no longer have; we also grieve for the many anticipated losses. During times of grief, and while this usually happens at a subconscious level, we make some major choices; one of these is our decision to remain in the chaos and turmoil of the change, or to use the energy, emitted by the change itself, as a catalyst for personal and collective growth and transformation.
Each time we move through a turning point, we engage in a spiritual process known as a Life Review. During the Life Review, we examine every aspect of the life we have lived up to this point, and as Carl Jung described, we decide if the Gods are pleased; and if They are not, we recognize that this turning point is providing us a time to adjust our lives more in line with our souls’ purpose. It is a time when we have an opportunity to choose the life we will lead rather than the one we have accumulated up to now.
Altering a life path can take great courage. We know how to navigate our life circumstances, even though this turning point and the energy of Spring may have nudged us to re-examine our situation and how it aligns with the achievement of our true potential. This may be especially true during these days when the world is permeated with fear, instilled through the language used to describe our lives and our lived experiences. The language of fight (‘we must fight the virus’) involves fear and control (‘we must control the spread’). It involves pushing, hoarding and thoughts of scarcity. It involves thoughts of giving up and giving in.
To step away from the fear-based controls being exerted and reinforced daily, I believe it is important for each of us to use the positive energies supplied by Spring and this turning point to courageously plant new seeds that contain energy of at least one new possibility. Yes, it may take courage, but we are familiar with courage for we act courageously every time we make a choice and, we already know that our lives shrink or expand in direct proportion to our courage. “Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, and injustice; while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.” (Dorothy Thompson).
While helping people during their turning point experiences, and hearing, “I don’t know which new road to take,” I am often reminded of Alice in Wonderland. “If you don’t know where you want to get to, then it does not much matter which road you take. Just begin on the path and watch how it unfolds.” I also find it valuable to offer the reminder that sometimes courage does not roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice that says, “Now turn here,” or the one at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow,” knowing that there is a difference between a wish (someday may never come) and action, and that action requires initial and continual investment of both time and energy; for as Aristotle noted, “We are what we repeatedly do: excellence then, is not an act but a habit. “
As we experience the richness of Spring, the beauty and colors, may the present strife allow us to use the lessons of these days to give depth to our souls and add grace to our days. May our choices be for our good and the good of humanity, and may their transformative energy be the catalyst for our souls’ growth; even when there are plenty of people around who are threatening dire consequences. Throughout this day and all the days to come, may we be undaunted by fear, and courageously and gently step into our dreams.
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Dr. Jane Simington, PhD is a grief and trauma therapist, educator, researcher and best-selling author, with an educational background in both Nursing and Psychology. The success of Dr. Jane's methods in helping more than 400 people heal and rebuild their lives after tragedy is based on her ability to combine up-to-date knowledge of grief, trauma and suicide-related issues, with an extensive knowledge of alternative healing methods, including therapeutic art, guided imagery, and energy work. Dr. Jane Simington, PhD has received recognition and awards for her work, including being honored as a Woman of Vision by Global TV, and as a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA.