Bloom Bright and Wild
Friday December 24, 2010
Working as a psychologist, the strangeness of the holiday season never escapes me. Parties abound, lights twinkle, the crowds in Sobey’s have a special quality of freneticism that goes beyond the materialism and posturing of any other season of the year.
Coincident with the frenetic sparkle and polish of the holidays, in the tough and intimate conversations inside my consultation room, I most often see in my clients a quality of human vulnerability, loneliness, broken-ness, immense love, and bravery. The nobility of spirit in my clients’ work with me seems cast in high relief by the lights of the surrounding holidays. Here, at the time of the year when the sun has all but disappeared, I often witness an immense wave of inner growth, that may be invisible to all but those with the most discerning eyes. Why this time of year? There is something irrational about immense personal growth coming at a time when the focus of most of the world is on the outer sparkle and glitter of a highly commercialized community event. I am not aware of any science documenting a quantifiable increase in human consciousness correlated to a reduction in the angle of the sun in the northern hemisphere! However, after years of seeing a pattern of personal change happening in my clients in the depths of winter, I find treasure the month of December for unexpected reasons. I value the tiny changes in perceptions that portend the immense blooming of a client’s natural personality, or the transformation of a client’s subjective reality that often leads to healthy changes in objective realities (work, wellness, relationships, creativity) of their lives.
These changes are rarely experienced by clients as the immense victories over pathology that they are; more often the changes are experienced as loss, separation, and the breaking up of the comfortable familiarities that are suddenly realized to be no longer true. Much of what was once known by my clients to be true, is often left behind, as my brave clients move through darkness to reach for that something in their life that wants to be born.
Here is what this season is about to me: moving through the darkness to reach for a new dawning of awareness or a new way of living in the world, witnessing the early germination of a change that will only come to full blossoming in the coming months and years.
Whatever the story you tell about this season, consider it a season of change and look for the beginnings of transformation in your own life, here in the midst of bustle and darkness.
Madeleine L’Engle said “this is irrational season, where love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason, there would have been no room for a child.”
May you begin to bloom bright and wild.
For more on vulnerability and growth, check out this new TED talk by Dr. Brene Brown.