What may seem unpleasant now, may nurture you later and help others in their growth.
To a casual eye winter can look a little ugly, with its gray skies, bare trees, dead leaves on the ground, and where I live, a lot of mud. It seems like there is no life, only mess.
The other day we got a little snow of an inch or so and it covered everything. I thought how beautiful and perfect it looked and how pretty it was. Snow has a peaceful, calming effect, silencing the world around for awhile, but I realized I was judging the smooth perfection of the snow as better than without it. I started thinking about my reaction and how I place judgements in other areas of my life.
Everything in nature has a purpose. For example, it is essential for trees’ well being to drop their leaves before the winter weather comes. If that snow had come and those leaves were still on the trees, they would have been so heavy that the limbs would have broken. It is taking care of itself by dropping those leaves. The unsightly dropped leaves are going to turn into soil and not only rejuvenate the life of the tree, but also all of the plant life around it.. What I noticed in my thoughts was the idea of perfection in the snow, when really it's just covering up what's underneath.
As I look at similarities in my life I realize I have my own defense mechanisms, like the dropping of leaves, that were formed in my early years. I created patterns in my life that worked for me, that were helpful. I was teased and bullied for being different and ugly. As a result of that experience I came to the conclusion that no matter what I did I wouldn’t be accepted so I might as well do what I wanted. I became free from the constraints of peer pressure that most children feel. I got the chance to find myself at a young age and not care what others thought.
As painful as that time was, those experiences now have gifts to offer, like the breaking down of leaves to soil. They strengthen my current self and bring me a deeper understanding of the human experience I can then use to nurture those around me. The experiences we've had in our lives make us who we are and create our Soulprint on the world. They have value, are important, and will always have a gift for us if we are willing to look.
We see people online that appear to have perfect lives. That is the snow, it looks like it's perfect, but if you dive underneath we all deal with the same stuff. No life is perfect and yet every life is perfect. Like every plant in nature you will never find the archetypal flower that has no flaws; the perfect stem-to-flower ratio, and pristine petals. Every single plant has its own little flaws, the leaf is missing a part, the stem is a little crooked, but in that imperfection we find individuality and therefore perfection. Every one of us have aspects of ourselves we want to change and that's good. We can strive to change them, but we can also know that we are perfect where we are right now. The plant that we are, the being that we are is perfect even if our petals are a little wonky. We are unique in all of history and that should be celebrated.
When we find ourselves feeling imperfect, we can know that our process is just getting us ready for spring and our experiences and imperfections bring us gifts that not only nurture us, but those around us as well.