Today marks the first of October. I knew I wanted to write this story, part of my story for anyone who may need this encouragement.
October is my favorite month. I love to see the leaves changing color. There is something so magical to me about pumpkins, homemade hot apple cider, butternut squash, layers with jackets, boots, and everything related to autumn. Also, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is all about food… I mean come on, what could be better? (Obviously I love autumn and food)
October became my favorite just over a decade ago. Autumn took on an even more important meaning to me and October symbolized it the most. You see, I was going through a really hard time as a senior in college. I was not prepared for all that life would throw at me. (Who really is?) I spent many a day in tears trying to reconcile this life I was living and the life I wanted after college.
I had expectations that were unrealistic and I had no idea of how to create the world that I wanted. Let me explain, I had the expectation of “the one” in my life and had recently gone through a breakup that crushed me. This means that I had found “the one” person I would be with forever but since it did not work out I was broken and would never be fixed. I was destined to be horribly broken and alone because I was created for only one person and he said no. To me this equated to I was not enough, never would be enough, was broken, would never be fixed, and would live a lonely life without companionship with anyone including my friends. It was a place full of so much shame and pain. I did not think I would recover and reasoned with myself that this meant forever I would be alone and that no one would understand. It was a system that came from the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” world. (If you do not know this book be very thankful. If you do I am sorry for any pain it may have caused you. Know that the author has since apologized through twitter to some girls that tagged him in a tweet.) It seemed like the world as I had thought it would be was crushed and I did not know what to do with that. My 21 year old self was breaking in ways that I did not know were possible. It was the beautifully painful stretching into the beginning of adulthood that I never fathomed would be so painful. Instead of facing this shame and seeing it for what it was I hid. I hid the pain so deep inside and created a silent space where I could bury all the emotions. Instead of seeing how broken this system was I believed in, I continued to walk deeper into it, continuing to find myself broken because I was alone and felt this was forever to be the case.
Luckily my coping was going on drives and crying while the leaves were magically changing colors. For some reason I found comfort in the colors changing. There was this one particular day that I was in a park sitting in my car crying. It had been raining so the leaves were extra bright. The rain started pouring while I was sitting there in tears and it felt like God and all of creation was there crying with me, supporting my tears, my pain, and the fear that I was facing. In that moment inside of me I heard and felt the phrase “the beauty of dying, the beauty of death”. I knew that I was dying to all that I had known and thought was important. I knew that I would be moving in the next year or so to finish up my degree with an internship. I knew that friendships were over that I had once cherished so deeply. I knew so many things but could not fully grasp them yet. It was that moment that I knew something was dying but was not sure exactly what that would entail. I look back on this time as a precious gift of understanding. It was a precious gift of growth and letting go. I learned that letting things die as they were to in the natural course of life new things could come in the place. New, better suited things for new seasons. I now understand that I had to let that mentality go but it would take me some years to see it. I am thankful that I can look back on this and see the beauty of the Divine speaking love and comfort knowing that I was not ready to change. It was just a glimpse into the curtain being removed but it was a start. God was so kind to me in this time and gave me the pushes I needed to get to where I am now.
So now I look at October as my favorite month. It is a month that I remember I am not alone and that the Creator of all lives within me and around me and that Mother Earth is a support to allow us to process the things we need to let go of without fear if we allow the embrace of creation around us. October is the reminder that death is a natural part of life and living fully. Without it we would be the same every single day and probably even die because we are not allowing ourselves to be pruned by the natural course of life. It reminds me of compassion and grace in the midst of everything, even stupidity (yes, I call some of my beliefs from my earlier life stupid). This year October is teaching me about shame and how much I have carried it even from decades ago. This year I am facing how “religion” allowed avenues for me to sit in shame silently for so many years. This year I am saying no to shame and facing all that entails. This is part of why I write this particular part of my story on my blog for others to read.
Now when October comes I hope you can remember that death is beautiful.
As Rumi says “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”
May your Autumn be full of both holding on and letting go.