Hooray, it’s finally May!! I have a love/hate relationship with the month of May. I look forward to it because we usually start really getting a spring in May where I live in Western, NY. I love the warmer weather with the promise of summer approaching. I love that school is winding down for the kids and soon the carefree, slower days of summer vacation will be upon us.
** I know it’s not May, I wrote this a few months ago and am still a little excited about my rhyming opening line so I kept it 🙂
I know that one of the themes of spring is birth and new beginnings. Yes, it’s a perfect analogy and sounds really nice. But to be completely honest with you, I really hate it. To me it feels so cliche. I thought I had it all figured out as to why I felt cynical and conflicted in May until just this week. God opened my eyes to some very significant revelation and insight about my hot and cold approach to May and let me tell you, it has been a game changer for me!
As I was preparing to write this post, I was reflecting on exactly why I despise the birth and new beginnings description. I mean, come on, what’s not to like about it? Who isn’t excited about birth and new beginnings, right?
Me, that’s who!
Birth and new beginnings are all about change and while I instinctively crave change, I fight it tooth and nail. Change brings uncertainty and feelings of chaos to me, two things that I try to avoid at almost all costs. While the births of my children were some of the best and most exciting moments of my life, they also brought with them a great deal of anxiety for me. The changes of the past 2 years have brought such a richness and abundance to my life. However, I still feel the growing pains and transition difficulty at times.
In my life, birth and new beginnings have always been accompanied by death of some kind. And right there, that’s where you lose me. Death is a “bad” thing isn’t it? That’s always what I thought. And for a consistent girl like me, death means different and my brain often tells me that different is “bad”. The first born, rule follower in me says that “bad” should be avoided like the plague.
It really stinks that in order to embrace birth and new beginnings in my life, I have to let go and allow the deaths to happen. Easier said than done.
I once heard a quote that said,
Everything I ever let go of had claw marks all over it.
This describes me to a tee. I picture a cat trying to hang on to the curtains for dear life as she slowly moves down to the floor shredding the curtains as she descends. Yep, I’m the cat. Of course not literally clinging to the curtains in the living room, but clinging to the curtains of my life; the familiar, the secure, the comfortable, the known.
It’s because of this, coupled with some very traumatic life events, that May is so bittersweet for me. For me May and springtime have carried with it freedom, light and growth along with death, pain and darkness. I have had a hard time reconciling all of this physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So last month as I felt my emotions rise and my body retaliating some, I started to look at what was underneath it all. This is what I discovered:
- In May of 1997, my parents got divorced.
- In May of 2012, I divorced. (Some would call this irony, I call it GOD)
- In May of 2014, I spent two weeks in the hospital due to debilitating anxiety and depression.
- In May of 2015, I began working at my home church ministering to many people struggling with divorce and mental health struggles.
- In May of 2018, I started this blog.
- In May of this year, I started my Airbnb business.
- Currently my husband owns a business that really starts to get busy in May. While this is a blessing as it supports our family and provides activity and positive experiences for all of us, I also do some grieving in May as there is less time and opportunity for marriage and family time. My husband’s slow days of winter are a thing of the past and the full in-season days are here.
I was shocked by the revelation that all of these instrumental things have occurred in my life in the month of May. I had never put it all together before. No wonder May is all over the place for me. My mind and body remember and respond even though my consciousness is just becoming aware now. Because of this, my body carries a pre-established stress with it and my emotions are heightened when the 5th month rolls around. I mean why wouldn’t it given what it has experienced over the past few decades?
This new awareness has shed so much light on why things seem to go a little crazy for me in May even when there hasn’t appeared to be a “logical explanation” to me. It has created a compassion and gentleness for myself that I never had before. It has birthed in me a desire to love and care for myself with an understanding and tenderness that didn’t exist before. It has also given me a deeper understanding about how my body works holistically and how I can work with it.
To learn more about stored trauma in the body, check out this article from Psychology Today.
A common phrase said in 12-Step Recovery rooms is “Awareness, Acceptance, Action”. Awareness is the first step in growth and wholeness. If I am not aware of something, I can’t heal from it because I have no idea it’s there. I don’t have to allow things of the past to hold me in bondage anymore. Today I am thanking God for this opportunity to go deeper with Him and myself. I’m praying that I will remember this next May.
Be Well and Whole!