Does February Bring Any GIfts?
“April is the cruelest month” wrote the poet T.S. Eliot. When I first read that line as a teenager, my thought was, “Obviously, this poet wasn’t a Canadian!”
Anyone who has consistently lived through winters in places like Oakville, Mississauga or Burlington will probably tell you that “the cruelest month” is either January or February. I suspect that many would vote for February.
For many people, February can seem very bleak. The year-end holidays are far behind us. There is no major holiday to lighten our hearts, although we do now have “Family Day”. Snow or brutal cold –this year we have little of the former and plenty of the latter–can turn trips out into an ordeal. The days are lengthening, it’s true, but, at least in our part of the world, long strings of overcast days lead many people to feel starved for sunlight.
Does February bring us any gifts? How could it?…
One of the most difficult aspects of this time of the year can be that we tend to feel shut in, and shut up with ourselves. This can mean that we are left with what I often term the fundamental question of ourselves. That is, with how to be who we are and feel good about it. How to actively accept and cherish our lives, rather than just seeing ourselves as “one in a million”.
Many of the things into which we pour our energy at other times of the year are just not available now. Our response to that can be to curse the luck and hang on grimly until spring. Or, we could use the time to really encounter ourselves.
Here are some things that might be helpful to think about at this time. They’ve proved valuable to me, so I leave them with you for your consideration:
Have you ever told yourself the story of your own life? To sit down and actually write your own life story can be a truly revelatory thing to do.
Have you ever thought about what the happiest time in your life was? Have you ever thought about what was the saddest?
Who are the three most significant people that you have encountered in your life, other than parents or siblings. Why are they important to you? What does that tell you about yourself?
In what do you put your faith? This might be a formal religious belief, or a personal spirituality or philosophy, or it might be something quite different. What you fundamentally value can tell you a tremendous amount about who you fundamentally are.
It may be that, as you live with these questions, they take on a fundamental importance that leads you to want to explore new dimensions of yourself, with someone “on your side” to witness your journey. Certainly that was my experience, and that is what initially led me into case studies and Jungian analysis.
I’d welcome comments below from readers on how any of these thoughts relates to your lives at this time of year.
My very best wishes to you on your individual journey to wholeness,
Website for Brian’s Oakville and Mississauga Practice: www.briancollinson.ca
© 2010 Brian Collinson