Today is Candlemas, also known to some as Groundhog Day. I often think of that little groundhog this time of year, venturing out to see if winter will continue for another six weeks. It made me think of the periods of winter in my life and how sometimes I felt ready to venture out of the hibernation hole to test the waters, and how sometimes I decided I needed longer in my hibernation hole or, conversely, that yes indeed, now was the time to seize the day!
Have you ever gone through periods where you just felt so….shy? inward? … depleted? like you needed a break from other mothers in real life or beautiful blog pictures that make you feel unworthy as a mother? Periods where you needed a break even from extended family? So much judging goes around mothering in our culture. We are all like little isolated islands without much in the way of support so what should be a cooperative endeavor ends up as a competitive event! Sometimes we just need a break from anything outside of our families and our homes because we are plain burned out. Have you ever been pulled that way and honored it for a season?
A little hibernation and shutting out of the outside world can be a way to lie fallow for awhile. Pulling in allows a little of the pressure to slide off, a little pace of slowing down, and a release of not having to put oneself “out there” for anything but the most supportive listening of the closest and most intimate of family members or friends.
We are coming up to Lent soon. Perhaps during this Lenten season, you will take the time to pull in and hibernate, but not due to any outside pressure or insecurity. Perhaps this time you will pull in and take this time to restore yourself.
Restore your confidence.
Restore your feelings that you worthy of love.
Restore your feelings that you matter.
Restore your feelings that you are just right the way you are. If you want to improve or change something do it because you feel illuminated and led to, not from any feelings of unworthiness or shame or guilt.
Restore your physical health. Sleeping enough, exercising, eating healthy food, taking care of yourself are all things to be done so you can be a light for your family. And your children notice. You are modeling for them how to slow down, how to get enough rest and how to be healthy. It is worthy.
Restore your positive attitude. Life should be joyful; there should be joy in ordinary moments.
Restore your sense of fun!
Restore your faith in something much, much bigger, wider and deeper than yourself. Where do you find light? Seek out your light.
Restore your sense of love, compassion, empathy.
Restore your sense of the big picture.
Restore your vision, mission and priorities.
Don’t be afraid to hibernate, but do it to restore, renew, refresh yourself. I will be hibernating with you, and refreshing myself and my deepest intentions and priorities. Please share your hibernation journey with me. What has helped you restore the most in your moments of hibernation? What helped you come out of your shell again? What did you learn in the fallow periods?