Incubation periods

Our psyches, like nature, need periods of rest and regeneration. Some overly positive psychological models have no place for the dips in mood or energy that are a normal part of life and which can be seen in the cycles of nature. We have to learn to not fear those moments when we do not feel completely in control, or when lose our sense of direction for a while.

There are moments in human life when a new page is turned. New interests and tendencies appear which have hitherto received no attention, or there is a sudden change of personality. During the incubation period of such a change we can often observe a loss of conscious energy: the new development has drawn off the energy it needs from consciousness. This lowering of energy can be seen most clearly …in the empty stillness which precedes creative work.

Jung, The Psychology of the Transference, CW 16.

A wise metaphor

“Seasons” is a wise metaphor for the movement of life, I think.

It suggests that life is neither a battlefield nor a game of chance but something infinitely richer, more promising, more real. The notion that our lives are like the eternal cycle of the seasons does not deny the struggle or the joy, the loss or the gain, the darkness or the light, but encourages us to embrace it all — and to find in all of it opportunities for growth.

Parker Palmer, From Language to Life

Deeper growth

We cannot say that we would have chosen much of what has happened this past year, but when things go well, we rarely stop to ask questions about our lives. A difficult situation, however, means we can see reality in a fresh way….

Even when we don’t desire it,
God is ripening.

Rilke, The Book of Hours I, 16