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March Newsletter: You don’t have to feel happy

“Patience isn’t waiting or being static but moving in harmony with the speed of nature and what life is presenting to you.” – Gabrielle Harris

Hi friends, welcome to March. Spring is right around the corner, but it seems that my backyard missed the memo. Everywhere I look, I see ugly brown grass, wilted succulents, dry Birds of Paradise, and bloom-less Bougainvillea.

Y’all, I have never related so much to my plants! Between the crazy winter weather, a 3-day stay at the hospital with Matias (poor little man developed pneumonia), and the unpleasant reminder that Covid-19 has been with us for over a year, to say that February has knocked me on my butt would be an understatement. Sure, Houston is back up in the 70s, Matias is healthy (thank goodness!), and we have power, water, and a full fridge, but I’m still feeling pretty beat up from the events of the last few weeks. Spring or not, all I want to do is crawl under the covers and hibernate.

The recommendation I keep hearing in regards to our flora is to just let them be. As much as we may want to get in there and prune, fertilize, or replant to make it look beautiful again, we really just need to back off and give them the time and space they need to regain their strength and bloom again when they’re ready. Nature cannot be rushed.

Such wise advice, and not just for our gardens.

As much as we may want things to be back to normal, we need to accept and honor the fact that for many of us, they are not. Even if you weren’t dealing with a sick kid or in Texas during Winter Storm Uri, I can almost guarantee that you’re also managing residual anxiety, stress, frustration, or grief from the last year. Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for the toll that life has taken on us over the last few months, and no amount of pruning on the outside is going to make us better on the inside. Those emotions will not simply go away because we’re tired of feeling them.

Healing takes time, and the journey begins with the courage to acknowledge where we are – right now – with compassion instead of judgment.

As I was thinking about the topic for this month’s newsletter, a quote from Glennon Doyle’s amazing book, Untamed, came to mind:

“I thought I was supposed to feel happy. I thought that happy was for feeling and that pain was for fixing and numbing and deflecting and hiding and ignoring. I thought that when life got hard, it was because I had gone wrong somewhere. I thought that pain was weakness and that I was supposed to suck it up.“

She’s right, we don’t always have to be happy. We do, however, need to be honest and kind. Validating how we feel isn’t the same as giving up, and accepting our present reality does not mean we’re stuck there. On the contrary, it’s only by letting ourselves feel it all that we can eventually move on, and build ourselves back up in harmony with the speed of nature.

All this to say, if you’re not feeling 100% at the moment, you don’t need to be fixed. You may just need a little sunshine, water, and time.


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