There is something poetic about the change of the seasons.
One day, the weather just changes.
Friday last week was 28 degrees. Warm, and sticky weather. A thunderstorm was looming. The clouds hanging heavy and threateningly in the sky. That strange, palpable charge to the air that it creates.
Saturday afternoon, that all changed.
I was sitting inside for a change, writing. I heard the wind whip up outside. I looked out the window. The leaves were swirling about. That's the only way we can see the wind really. By the effect that it's having on our surroundings. Otherwise, wind is invisible. You can't see it. You can only feel it. I guess its not too dissimilar to faith. In the sense that having faith in something really doesn't make sense. You can't see whatever it is that you believe in. Yet you still feel it.
I wandered outside. The temperature had dropped about 10 degrees. Such a change from an hour earlier.
It's then when you get that thought - what am I going to wear? What on earth did I wear last winter? Oh, and #FirstWorldProblems.
It's funny how quickly we forget what its like to feel a certain way.
In the heat of summer, we can't imagine what it's like to feel cold. And then one day, it changes. Just like that.
Life is like that too.
Sometimes you can go on, feeling a certain way for the longest time, and then in an instant, everything changes. Something shifts within us. And suddenly, we can't even remember the way we used to feel. We only know how we feel now.
Feelings are a funny thing. And surely, by acknowledging the fact that we do have feelings that are so mercurial and changeable, and so easily altered by outside influences, it has to make you wonder if there is a lot more to us than what meets the eye.
A lot of the time, the way that we feel is hinged upon that of how another person perceives us to be. How THEY make us feel. Which is not necessarily a good thing.
In fact, if we do only rely upon outside opinions to determine the opinion we have of ourself, then how much power do we actually have?
None. The power lays in the hands of the other person. Which means they possess the power to destroy us as well.
But perhaps our surroundings have a far greater impact on us than we give credit. Only we seem to forget, that we have ultimate control of how we choose to react.
I go back to a couple of months now, when I was being abused on Twitter over a Huffington Post article I wrote.
I felt physically ill. I felt like a fool. I felt a sense of injustice. I cried (and i drank a lot of wine). But I also realised I possessed the power to change it, and I was taking it all way too seriously.
So whilst it was kind of like a car crash, and I simply couldn't look away from the computer screen, and ignore the fury I had managed to incite, I did consciously decide, to try not to take it all so seriously.
These people don't know me, and ok, sure, I may have pissed a lot of people off with that particular article, but it doesn't make me a bad person.
So I wrote a brief response article, and let the storm pass. They'd move onto the next person soon enough.
And they did.
All storms pass.
Like Kelly Cutrone says, "Sometimes in life, seasons don't come in order. Instead of fall, winter, spring, summer, we get three winters in a row. But that doesn't mean spring won't come eventually."
And if life is all about balance, I think in order to retain a sense of humility about us, it's important to encompass both the things that make us feel good, and the things that make us feel bad. Because it teaches you gratitude. It teaches you how to reflect. It teaches you how to stand up for yourself. It teaches you to love yourself.
It teaches you how to believe in yourself.
Because it creates a feeling.
How do you feel when someone pays you a compliment? It feels good right?
How do you feel when someone disrespects you? It hurts.
But it also makes you pay attention to yourself, and to perhaps ask yourself what you can do to change the situation.
Perhaps you need to stop being so self-centred and try to see things from the other persons perspective. Perhaps you need to ignore them completely. Perhaps you need to embrace them warmly, and thank them for bringing you to the attention of yourself. Only you can decide.
But the most important thing is to follow your heart, and pay attention to the way certain things, or people, make you feel. Like Saint Anthony said, you can only differentiate between the angels and devils by the way you feel after the creature has left your company.
If I go back to that law of polarities that I often write about, that something cannot exist without the opposite, then it's undeniable that outside influences are going to move us in some way.
So if our surroundings have the ability to make us feel a certain way - hot, cold, sad, excited - then perhaps we should pay a little more attention to what, or who we are surrounding ourselves with.
One would assume it would make sense to only surround ourselves with people who support, and lift us higher. Who make us want to be a better person. Those who care enough to push us, and call us out on our bullshit, but hold our hand regardless of the mistakes we make.
But we also need the other stuff too. To push us to become the best, and most authentic version possible of ourselves. So we can learn to fight for what we believe in. So we can fight to save ourselves.
Which is why the change of the seasons are so important.
Its a physical reminder of what life will throw at us constantly.
Nothing is permanent, but change.
And sometimes, you really do need to have a really long winter, in order to be able to appreciate the beauty and sweetness of the springtime when it finally comes.
Or better still, a hot, sticky, relentless summer, to appreciate the heat literally being taken off you, when that cool change graces us with its presence.
So today, I guess the lesson is, to embrace change. You can't fight it anyway. You either remain stuck and stagnant, or you go with the flow, and welcome with open arms whatever comes your way.
And above all, let your heart be your compass, and guide you towards what you truly desire.