Out of Crisis Comes Renewal
Is Springtime flooding your soul yet? Every year at this time I am amazed at the sense of renewal the simple fact of increased sunlight, budding trees and blooming flowers brings to my spirit. It may be trite but I really do feel like anything is possible when the world is displaying it before my eyes.
Last night at a meeting, a friend was discussing something her therapist had told her during a bout of deep depression following a tragic event in her life. He told her, "Out of crisis comes renewal." Each of us took a moment to let that reality sink in.
We began to agree that that is the message of any crisis. We are so busy living our lives in the moment when we cannot make sense of things very well. Understanding comes only in retrospect. Not until we have moved out of the crisis experience can we begin to see the ways in which we have grown or the unforeseen blessings that may have come to us as a result.
We spent Easter break in Arizona with cousins and their families. Those families have experienced deep pain in the past few months. My cousin's husband's twin brother passed away in October from cancer and another cousin's four month old baby girl went to Heaven from her mother's arms in January. We knew, going there, we would have to enter into their pain. They are deep in their season of crisis. I promised myself I would bring up their loved ones, talk about them by name and ask them to share with me their stories of their loves and losses.
And now, in retrospect, I can see the stirrings of renewal in their lives. Their families are leaning toward each other, seeking comfort and connection. They are beginning to return to the normalcy of daily life, return to their routines, their communities and to their own capacity for joy in the ordinary. Even in deepest grief, one mother is looking at her crisis as an opportunity to reach out to other grieving mothers, to share her story, to create a foundation, and quite simply, to grow.
Even as I write about her, tears well up in my eyes. Growing and finding blessings does not invalidate the pain or lessen the excruciating desire that this opportunity for growth had never occurred. But as I have said here before, there is no point in resisting what is. That resistance is the very cause for the friction we create in our lives. Accepting what is, breathing into the reality of the life we are indeed living, is not the same as condoning it. But it is the only way to grow.
And Springtime reminds me of that truth. Out of the crisis of winter, the impossible cold and brutal weather our plants and trees endured for months, comes new growth, life reborn and by contrast, these blooms are even more beautiful and precious in my eyes.