The Four Seasons of Life, The Four Seasons of Love
Often times in conversations with friends or clients, I have used the analogy of the four seasons to assimilate the happenings of daily life and relationship challenges that happened in my as well as their lives. It is a positive thinking exercise and a very effective tool that can help one handle upsetting situations cleverly and realistically.
Life is not about what ‘we’ want it to be. Life is a free-flowing force that is so powerful, wise and miraculous. We can’t simply belittle it just because we may not get the wisdom behind it sometimes. Things happen for a reason, and things eventually fall into their places. So why push, pull, precipitate, complain, and so on. Repeating such unproductive/ negative attitudes only serve as a poison we inject into our blood.
The Four Seasons of Life, The Four Seasons of Love Exercise:
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This is a visualization technique that I use to help me – and my clients - see incidents for what they are, make life more manageable and overcome challenges with positivity.
Here is how it goes.
In the past, whenever I had a gloomy day at work, or with my family, I’d look at it as a grey and cold winter day, with strong winds sometimes. Similarly, whenever my partner and I entered a gloomy phase of mutual discomfort, due to some misunderstanding, in which I felt I had not caused in any way, or if the subject of argument to me was no big a deal – instead of cursing the day and firing out my rage right at him – mentally, I’d declare it a grey winter day. On such weather, I’d go back to my comfort zone, treat myself to a hot and comforting drink, and stay in till the sun came out. Meanwhile, I’d contemplate what happened, why, and how we can solve the problem. If I realized that the problem had been caused by me in any way, I’d start thinking of a solution or a way to make up for what I did. If the result of my reasoning was that it was something my partner did or said that upset me, or if it was a simple misunderstanding – which as silly as it sounds can lead to major and upsetting arguments- I’d wait until it is the appropriate time to address and discuss it calmly, find a solution for it and then makeup.
At all times, I’d try to stay away from that gloomy weather as much as I could, since rain and cold make us sick. Similarly, going back to a heated situation – especially when one is not yet ready- can only make it worse. Arguments can have toxic effects on both parties, and may eventually cause us to become ill, whether emotionally or physically. So, by exercising such way of positive thinking, I have learned to make the most of life’s happenings, and instead of wasting a long time being upset and sad around a particular matter, I’d see it assertively as a winter phase, which will end sometime in the future, and the sun would come out again to shed on the world abundant positive feelings, like friendliness, empathy, gratitude, loyalty, happiness, etc.
Meanwhile, by visualizing that I was staying in, enjoying my treat, contemplating what had happened, I’d give myself and the other person (my sibling, partner, child, co-worker, etc.) a chance to calm down and reflect on what had happened. Instead of obsessing about it all day, I’d go about living my regular life in the most ordinary way. One bad thing, in my opinion, should not and does not deserve to spoil the other aspects of my life. Things fall into their places, when we handle them wisely. However, the least I can do in any heated situation is to mainly reflect on the part I had played in it. No one is perfect and certainly misunderstandings happen.
On the other hand, some challenges may be the product of a purposeful harmful act by others, and that too deserves contemplation, so we learn how to handle it. Yet, if we are going to allow ourselves to get dragged into an escalating negative emotional havoc, we then may not be capable of finding a solution for it. So at all times, stay away from negative energy and angry situations for a while, reflect then choose the right time (when the clouds clear out) to handle it.
The winter analogy can also be applied to one’s disrupting their diet. We are all guilty of that one time or another. We love our bodies, yet sticking to a regime may be challenging sometimes. Treating a messed-up dieting day like a tough winter day, on which it was difficult to commit, helps free us from the blocking feelings of guilt and self-loathing. You may have needed the comfort of a hot chocolate, a chocolate bar, a creamy soup, etc. This is certainly not a sin. It is OK. Life will go on, and you can go back to your regime, when the sun comes out, and you feel energetic, determined and active.
Certainly, this technique wasn’t there all my life. I have developed it through experience as a way of seeing problematic situations as “temporary” occurrences.
Living life as is, and not as ‘it is supposed to be’, may make it easier for us to accept its challenges, and rather rise above them with resilience. Unrealistic expectations, dreams, myths, gossip, etc. may never solve a problem, and most importantly, they may never become real. What we are left with then is illusion, and this is very lonely and cold place to be in.
What about the other seasons? They all work. This is how.
In fall, it is chilly yet it doesn’t take our eyes much time to see the beauty behind that cool weather. Similarly, some misunderstandings between two friends, sisters, brothers, etc. can occur but it may not take them a while to realize that the beauty of their friendship is worth coming forth and resolving the problem at hand.
How about spring and summer?
Well, in spring, things start to green and brighten up. The skies clear up, and the trees start to blossom. Similarly, this is usually the phase where a friendship or a relationship start showing off its beauty, and reflecting that in enjoyable feelings, whose sweetness we savor at all times. Usually, this period of bliss leaves the best memories especially that they mark their contrast upon happening after a period of coldness, absence from your loved ones (at work, on a business trip, normal everyday business, etc.) or fights. When winter resolves, spring shines its happiness in our hearts, and warms the body with blood that is pumped in it with strong palpitations.
Summer is usually a hard-core fun time (a trip somewhere nice, a good phase of achievement at work, some cool gatherings, etc.) This is where we regain our balance and renew our energy, or refill some trying to save for upcoming winter times. These happy deposits forge their memories into our hearts, souls and brains, and they are the ones that help us give the other person benefit of the doubt, when negative/unhappy occurrences happen.
There’s so much beauty in the world for the eyes to behold. It’s just a matter of observing it or not.
No one is perfect, not us nor them. So why assume that in the first place? This is only bound to hurt us more than them.
Hope this technique helps you like it has helped me. Allow your soul to embrace the beauty of other souls and things around you.
~~Peace upon you all~~
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