This weekend, I began to feel that I was waking up from a period of hibernation, and it was interesting that this metamorphosis coincided with the spring forward time change, meaning it was lighter out later into the evening, giving my heart a hopeful lift toward a new season. Spring to me is all about new growth, and birds singing, and an optimistic sense that something fresh is happening all around me. I hope that this metaphor rings true in my life in the coming weeks.
I began to worry recently that I was becoming agoraphobic, because I preferred to be safely tucked up in my house instead of out in the world. I think this feeling is part of the hibernation process, but the good thing about hibernating is that it is only for a season. It's not forever. I don't want to hide away from people because by nature I am a social creature. But not this winter. I wanted to bury myself in a gopher hole, stay warm and alone, and hope to survive until spring.
Like a flower pushing its way stubbornly through the snow-covered grass, I feel that my heart is turning to the sun again. I'm not where I used to be, but that's okay because I am different now. When you are different, it's not reasonable to expect to go back to the way you were before. I have new coping skills, better ones, and I will have to practice using them in the world instead of simply in my house. I hope I'll be smarter in my relationships now, and a little more aware of what I'm doing and why.
This winter I went from pretending as my main mode of being to living as real and authentically as I could. It was one of the more painful things I've ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Now I know for sure that I could never go back. I made a lot of my unconscious drives conscious, so I can see and understand what they are, and practice responding differently to situations. I have made many mistakes, but in just as many situations I have been like a caterpillar breaking out of my cocoon and flying for the first time, and once you've flown you are not interested in going back to crawling through the mud, inch by inch, after you learn you were made to soar.
Change is brutally hard, but nothing good is gained without pain and effort, and I want to keep growing for as long as I am alive. I spent a lot of years being afraid, and therefore stagnant, and now I want to move forward. Changing myself has meant everyone around me had to change too, whether they wanted to or not, and the fall-out from this process will continue to make itself known. I do know that I cannot go back. Real is the only way for me from this point on, and I love that I can be gentler and kinder to myself now than I have ever been before. Waking up to this new person is going to be a beautiful experience, and I'm eager for the spring.