Although this is a well-used metaphor for this time of year, it’s still a great reminder that we’re doing just fine.
We look outside and see the leaves falling off the trees, turning different shades of red and brown, but we don’t panic. We’re not even alarmed. We just ‘know’ that this is what happens. In fact, for some people it’s a period of beauty and their favourite season. I’d say that autumnal orange is my favourite colour.
So why don’t we feel alarmed when the leaves start to turn brown and fall?
That sense of ‘knowing’ is not questioned as it’s part of something bigger: it’s nature in action, the pattern of our seasons, an energy that we can’t see but we know is there – like gravity.
It’s just what happens.
We know the trees will sprout new buds in the spring and the leaves will return.
We look forward to spring with anticipation.
We know that Mother Nature is on a continual cycle; we’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had that same sense of ‘knowing’ within ourselves?
It seems that nature has an ongoing self-correcting system.
Well, hey, guess what? So do we!
As human beings, we are just another element of nature … and we too are included in that self-correcting system.
We are all on a constant cycle (or rollercoaster) of differing feelings and emotions. So, just as we know the leaves will return in all their glory, we can be sure that our emotions will move through pain, anger, anxiety, confusion to relief, gratitude, contentment, bliss, and then back to anxiety, worry, confusion and so on … it’s just what happens.
When we are feeling down, confused or anxious we can easily feel stuck in this mental headspace and often not see any way through it, or any light at the end of the tunnel. We can remember that, just like the leaves on the trees, we have the capacity to self-correct and recognise that new and fresh feelings and emotions will pop up, then we can relax again.
Just like we acknowledge autumn as the transition between summer and winter, we can acknowledge uncomfortable feelings as a psychological transition; a passing set of emotions which will, in time, transform again and again – just like the seasons.
What a relief.