I’ve just had the longest unplanned interruption in publishing since I started this writing project over two years ago. My commitment to write and publish every day…. vanished. And there does not seem to be an obvious reason that I can make easy sense of. Nothing significant changed in my schedule and yet, when it came to writing, nothing.
I notice how quickly the parts of me that are into comparison and self-criticism can get going in such circumstances. First a vague unease, a sinking feeling, a confusion that gradually shifts into despair. At the heart of all of this a comparison: I should be able to do better than this, I’m letting myself and others down. And an assessment: it’s my fault, I’m clearly not dedicated enough.
I’m saying this here not because I think there’s anything unusual about me – this constant stream of inner comparison with its harshness and its capacity to produce shame seem to be to be shared widely amongst us humans.
But there is another part of me, more settled, wiser, with a much more expansive view of time, that says this is a season.
It reminds me that I am not a robot, nor a machine, but alive. It reminds me that like all living beings I have summers and winters, autumns and springs – fallow times and generative times, hopeful times and despairing times, sadness and joy, gratitude and frustration, sorrow and love. It reminds me that the seasons of my own life – of all of our lives – are not, largely, under our control.
And it reminds me that sometimes, often, the wisest move is to know that seasons come and go all by themselves, and to stop worrying, forcing, or trying to have it be any other way.