Season of the Fallen Flower

It’s the season of the fallen flower. It’s the season of heat when the rising temperatures cause the petals, so vibrant and alive just a few weeks ago, to wilt. It’s the season of paradox: we bask in summer light and longer days yet the hands of darkness are stealing away the light minute by minute; we revel in the heat yet when it reaches a crescendo and breaking point we seek shelter indoors. The winter of summer. The emotional paradox of this season is that when there’s heat there’s an expectation of joy – beer and BBQs, swimming pools and parties – and yet there’s an undercurrent of sadness because we sense, especially the highly sensitive ones, the loss of light that begins after the summer solstice, and we feel in our bones the interplay of life and death.

We live in a culture that desperately seeks to avoid death, so we play harder and drink more beer and anesthetize with louder music, as if we could drown out the sorrow that lives at the edges of our days, the sadness that tries to be known at daybreak before the noise begins or at sunset when the darkness mixes with the light. We push away the tender feelings but they crawl up our bodies like vines anyway, like morning glory that climbs through fences and over gates with such tenacious beauty that we wonder if it’s weed or flower.

This expectation of unilateral joy in a season where sadness exists is what spawned my work in transitions almost two decades ago when I was pulled into the underworld of the wedding culture and called to write about the grief, fear, loneliness, and vulnerability that punctuates this “only happy time.”  Then came my work around the transition into motherhood, where, again, connection and loneliness, joy and sadness, confidence and fear, boredom and presence collide in one messy soup of love. Interwoven in my work around transitions has always lived the conversation about relationship anxiety, where I broke through the taboo that said that doubt and love can’t possibly live in the same heart and instead teach that love and fear are more closely related than we think. Our culture has a very hard time accepting paradox.

So we find ourselves here in the height of summer, a few days after the holiday of the 4th of July where the expectation of parties and BBQs – those ultimate experiences of the extrovert ideal that dominate our culture – is at an all-time high. And in the sanctuary of my sessions I hear about the sadness and loneliness that my clients struggle with when their holiday doesn’t match the culture’s expectation. If only we could widen our culture’s conversation to make room for the introvert who resists big gatherings, or the sensitive who, upon waking up on the 4th of July, is tinged by a shadow memory that leaves a thumbprint of sadness on her soul. She tries to push it away because today is supposed to be fun, fun, fun but it doesn’t work, and finally she remembers that it’s okay to feel sad on holidays, and if she can make room on her picnic blanket for the sadness and open to the memories, she’ll make room for the joy as well.

She remembers, then, that like the yin/yang symbol there’s a dot of death in summer and a dot of life in winter, and if she can open herself to these paradoxes and polarities she might find more ease inside herself, on this day, and in this life. If she could stop in the middle of the heat in the middle of a summer day – especially in the middle of a holiday when expectations for joy run high – and turn inward long enough to touch the dot of death, she might connect to a memory from childhood, to a day when she sat by the pool or at the lake’s edge and felt happy and safe or sad and alone, and no matter how she felt she would breathe into the bittersweet nostalgic sadness that arises now from knowing that that moment is gone, that her childhood is over, that her original family, no matter how healthy or dysfunctional (and every family has shades of both) has dispersed and reconfigured, and if she could breathe into that pang of longing on a hot summer’s day she would have practiced a moment of accepting that people are prisms and life is paradox, and a moment that she wanted to push away was instead metabolized into spaciousness and transformed into rain. And her heart opened because she let herself feel exactly what she was feeling. And in the heart open moment she reaches for her partner’s hand when just a moment before she felt only irritation and wanted to run. The grief is the salve. The self-compassion is what opens our hearts to love.

In this season of the fallen flowers we, too, may find ourselves wilting, so we dip our stems into pool water or lake water and replenish. The natural bodies of water do, indeed, replenish, but so does allowing ourselves to drink from the inside out by allowing ourselves to dwell in the shelter of the grief place. And a shelter it is, for when we sit with our grief it creates a canopy of leaves under which we can cry. Our fear is that the grief will overpower us and we’ll drown in our tears. The truth is that the tears, even if we don’t actually cry but sit in the sadness and breathe into it as best we can, create a shelter of safety. And perhaps this is the true winter of summer: not only the physical reality of staying indoors when it’s too hot to play but the recognition that there’s an emotional invitation to align with the element of loss that punctuates our days and nights as we slowly, slowly, move toward winter, and slowly, slowly, in the opening and accepting, we also move toward love.

60 comments to Season of the Fallen Flower

  • HannahR

    Is it normal for a relationship to go from really happy & being proud that you have such a great relationship to being irritated with each other a lot of the time and the slightest thing annoys you and you both turn argumentative. We both realise we are like this recently so we are trying to change it. I am fighting against my mind saying it should be effortless and it shouldn’t feel hard trying to make it work and not getting irritated to realising that this is normal and love is in fact ‘effortful’.

    Is this normal? I worry it’s a red flag.

  • Mindy

    Beautiful post, Sheryl! Your ecourse (break free from relationship anxiety) and your blog posts have been one of the most valuable tools in my life! I just want to say thank you so much for your work. I am in one of the most loving relationships of my life simply because I took the course, and am committed to working through the internal stuff that causes me to push away my partner in very subtle and crafty ego-thought ways! It’s been such a huge growth process, one where I am learning to trust myself!

    At any rate, your post made me think of what I’ve been reading in Thich Nhat Hanh. I’ve been struggling with flight anxiety (and it’s so crazy because I have built a life that involves a lot of international travel!!), and I realize it’s because of an attachment to the fear of death.

    He writes (my paraphrase) about how death is a concept, and concepts are incapable of expressing reality as it is and that most of our suffering comes from concepts. Rather, death is the cessation of manifestation, but just because something is not manifest does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    The best help in letting go of my anxiety (both relationship and flight!) has been to acknowledge that deep down, for me, it is a fear of death (and to acknowledge that fear rather than stamp it out, ignore it, or berate myself for having it). And acknowledging it allows me to nurture and love myself through the fear, and come to the other side being more gentle and light in spirit. This, too, shall pass! Thank you again!!

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, the fear of death is one of the primary spokes on the relationship anxiety wheel, and on the wheel of life anxiety. We push it away and push it away yet it exists every day, and we’re acutely aware of it during liminal zones, holidays, and transitions. Thich Nhat Hanh is a gem, and his book on death is particularly poignant.

  • Rachel

    I live in Phoenix where summers temps are always 105 or higher and so Summer is definitely my “Winter”. We don’t go outside, curtains are drawn to keep out the heat, and I often feel claustrophobic and depressed (but without any of the joyful winter comforts that make you feel cozy indoors). I don’t want to merely “get through” the summers here but LIVE through them. But I can’t seem to get around this block that tells me this is unsustainable, that there’s no way of looking at this that will bring me peace about living in such a place.

    • The shade of trees. Bodies of water. Waking up early and taking a walk before the heat descends. A shift in mindset that welcomes the internal time even amidst the expectation of extroversion. Would any of that help?

      • Sarah S.

        The fact that you take moments to respond to comments like these with such REALNESS is refreshing. Your work is incrementally changing my life. I read a few posts, live through a few days with changed perspective, and see the gifts in my intimate relationship start coming through. When applied, the truth of your work is evident. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your own journey in such a public way. I hope to take one of your e-courses in the future, and until then I’m soaking up all of the (beautifully written) guidance that you so generously give away.

  • Laura

    This was beautiful to read today. Thank you!

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    Its a constant battle between my mum and brother, I feel they are so immature, My mum has narcisstic traits and unfortunately my brother has learnt his outbursts from my mum. I feel hurt, exhausted, angry. I choose to keep my distance because I cant toletate it anymore. I dont have the love its been hard. Its all about making them happy, they dont care about my feelings. I am always there for them but i never get a text from them. Its so tiring Sheryl. Is keeping my distance the best option?

  • Jen

    Dear Sheryl,

    I love the deep,insightful, soulful way you write…I’ve often thought of your family,the time of the flooding,getting to meet your mom at an IB intensive..many memories..You’ve both given me ways of looking at things more deeply,incisively..just treasures..Thank you so much!

  • Katie

    And here I was, thinking I was the only one who felt deeply sad on the 4th of July… it is comforting to know I am not alone! Thank you for the reminder to feel my sadness fully – I think this post couples perfectly with your “Louis CK” post (which I adored!!). I can put away my phone and fireworks and cry, and I will be ok.

  • Magical words for my weary heart tonight. Thank you.

  • Lauren

    Sheryl your posts are always so comforting. I am with a great partner but my anxiety makes me question if that is even true and I wonder if I am kidding myself and right now I feel nothing. Just numb. I have purchased the anxiety course a number of months ago, i am just so lost and can’t make anything stick. I tried hypnotherapy to help but no success. I have been this way for 9 years, 3 relationships (this being my 3rd) It is ruining my life. The first there were no red flags but i left after 8 months. The second there were red flags, gambling and drink but i stayed for 5 1/2 years. Now I have a chance to love and be loved with no red flags, just the odd annoying habits and I am ruining it. I wonder if I can ever break free or if this will be my destiny. I just cant commit to anything, the anxiety takes over. Any wise words?

    • What happens when you try to commit to just one of the daily practices that I teach in the course? You may also want to consider a one-time coaching session so I can help you identify where you’re getting stuck:

      http://conscious-transitions.com/coaching-sessions/

      • Lauren

        I begin with thinking I can do it and I am positive I can do it, I experience what feels like softening just at the thought of it. But then the thoughts come in (usually that I am not really in love or how could this ever last) which brings on the gut turning feelings and then it consumes me and I am off just trying to get by with constant dull chatter in the background that sometimes screams to me and sometimes isn’t quiet at all, there is always a knot in my stomach or just a turning sick feeling. I become convinced it is just that I am with the wrong person and in this time he can do no right, he looks not attractive. There are only some shining moments of nice. This usually lasts a week or 2 until something snaps me back and I feel overjoyed again and so lucky. But that never lasts, maybe a week or 2 and then it all begins again.This has been my life since I had my first panic attack at 20, 9 years ago now. I feel so riddled with guilt and worry I am ruining his life or making him hate me by acting so miserable. I might need to message you for a session. I feel so stuck like it’s never going to end and the best thing would be just to leave.

        • As long as you still believe the intrusive thoughts that say that you’re with the wrong person, he’s not attractive enough, etc, you’re going to remain stuck. The most difficult and most crucial part of this work is pulling back the projection, which really means assuming full responsibility for the aching places inside of you that need attention. The guilt, the worry, the buying into the intrusive thoughts – these are all cover-ups to fully feeling your own deep pain, fear, and unlived lives.

  • R

    After years of therapy and reading this blog for several years now, its amazing how I can make space for grief, and sadness when the times call for pure extroverted excitement and joy. When I desperately do not want to attend a party I’ve already committed to, I find it’s because I need a little space for loneliness for grief for depression . And if I allow those to the space they are calling out for, I can find myself rejuvenated and still make the party, but maybe just leave early… and drink one less beer. I can even carry that weight with me, and still feel good because I’m whole. I am not forcing anything out or in. Just practicing being in the moment whatever it may bring with it.

    For anyone struggling, there is hope. Keep working at it and know it is hard work. But the other choice is to continue as is. It’s worth it.

  • Zoe Carter-Beedie

    I LOVE this post Sheryl! Thank you so much! Much love, Zoe xxx

  • Tatjana

    The fifth paragraph is pure magic! Those moments of grief and nostalgia are just like you said, a paradox, they hurt and they heal.
    Very beautiful post! XXX

  • Sarah Atkinson

    Beautiful and comforting words. Thank you.

  • Catherine

    Thank you for this post Sheryl.
    I am finding this part of year tricky because it feels like a good time that is soon to end. I am struggling with the transitions that are due to take place in my future, moving, and where to move, the thought of what do I want and what “should” I do… and how on earth is my relationship able to survive all of these transitions. I look at people who are settled in their homes or their lives seem set out in front of them and I feel so in sure about anything in my future. It is scary and hard to sit comfortably with such uncertainty. Your amazing Ecourse has given me so many tools, and coping mechanisms for my relationship anxiety and I can honestly put my hand up and say I am well and truly at the opening of the dark tunnel. But the same “what next” and “what if’s” are appearing a bit at the moment. And I am trying to sit with uncertainty of future transitions and welcome the feelings of sadness but I also feel backed into a corner by the big scary shadows of anxiety.

    • It’s a place we all find ourselves in life: between the fear of the dark and the willingness to feel the uncertainty. Every time you can name the uncertainty, you break the spell that wants to entice you into believing the fear-based thoughts and give yourself a possibility of breathing into the uncomfortable feelings.

  • Reading this was like a poetic, impressionistic dream Sheryl. You are gifted with words that can put into language feelings and sending that is hard to express. I always find your posts at exactly the right time. This one couldn’t be more true for where I am right now and it’s comforting to know there is a tribe that feels as deeply as I do.

  • Marlene

    As a child, I thought something was wrong with me for feeling what you describe in this post. It’s liberating and joyful to realize what we are and that our sesitivities are GIFTS not liabilities- though they may not have been honored when we were young. Thank you Sheryl, thank you for creating a space for us and helping us navigate in a world where we are not the majority. xx

  • K

    I really hope you come out with a book that contains the essence of your work and writings. Your words very often go straight to the soul and is a balm to the sensitive sufferers. If there’s one word I would associate with your work, it’s HOPE. Something you hardly associate with the “diagnostic” world that stigmatizes human suffering into gazillion labels.

  • Andrew

    Honestly, I don’t know where else to turn and this is going to be long winded and all over the place. I am so glad I have found this site as it has been a life saver. However, I keep feeling constant intrusive thoughts go through my head. It can go from my partner and I not having enough in common to feeling like I’ve faked every single interaction I’ve had which I don’t know how that would be true. I have been going through a major depressive episode and I am going to see a therapist soon. I have been questioning the point of anything in life and feel very disassociated with reality. I also feel like I really have no purpose or nothing to strive for and feel a general sense of apathy when thinking about doing anything. The only emotion I’ve felt recently is sadness and fear. Then even as I’m writing this my thoughts move to maybe i’m just too young (I’m 19 and my partner is 20) and that we may be well matched but I just haven’t grown enough and that I can’t grow while i’m with her. We’ve been together since high school and are attending the same college and are as of last week living together with no roomates. I’m scared that i’m just not ready for her, I see everything she is and how much she loves me and I know that she would make anyone a fantastic lifelong partner, but i’m so scared that i’m not ready for her or I don’t fully appreciate her. I want to feel this deep connection to her and know that our very souls are linked like I thought I had felt in the past, but I’m stuck. I’m too scared to work on myself because I think I’m just going to realize that I can’t connect with her or that I need to have some time to myself in order to grow into knowing myself and what I want. But then I get bogged down with the depressive depersonalized thoughts of not seeing a point to figuring out myself or feeling that I’ve never truly connected to anyone including myself. And I’m waaaay too scared to leave her, I want to fully commit to her like I know she deserves but I feel like I’m hurting her so badly by not being there and I don’t want to give up. Now that I say that I think to myself that I just don’t want to leave because i’m used to having her around and i’m just scared of change, that she as a person could be anybody and I still wouldn’t leave just because i’m too scared. I feel like everyone around me (sometimes including myself) aren’t real distinct souls and people and just characters in the movie of my life that i’m observing and floating through, like i’m not taking the profundity of life and being with another person seriously enough. I just want to feel that security in reality again, the security in the fact that I do love my partner and that I won’t need to leave just because the culture says that I need to experience single life and grow on my own. I realize that the only one stopping myself from growing is me and I feel like that’s partially due to the fact that i’m in college and don’t have the money to travel and I also am too shy (or anxious) to meet anybody or experience new things and I feel like working on myself is betraying the one person I’ve promised to stay with. There’s probably much that I missed and any response would help, i’m so lost. Also just a side note, my partner has absolutely no red flags and is the most innocent and sweet soul that I could ever imagine, she’s my angel and it makes me scared that she’s only come to my life for a short period of time and that i’m stopping myself from being there for her and connecting in meaningful ways.

    Wow that was longer than I thought, sorry 🙁

  • Andrew

    I also fear that I am at a transition for making our love feel deeper and last longer but i’m messing it up because I don’t know what to do or how to deal with anything i’m going through. One of my main fears is that if I do work on myself, to me this means spending time alone thinking about what I want, I will come to the conclusion that I don’t want my partner or I don’t care enough to work at it. I think I enjoy my time with her, it’s so hard to think about times before this even though it’s only been a month, but I don’t always feel the need or desire to spend time with her, I can’t remember the last time I did feel that save when I wanted someone to cry to. I want to feel more interested naturally in what she does and what her motivations are but I can’t seem to get there without putting in so much effort it feels fake. I just feel an indifference towards anything she does and I feel like I can’t even see my future with her anymore, not because of anything she’s done because I can’t even see my own future at all, not what I want or what I want to do or anything. Which seems so weird because just before this happened I was so sure that I wanted to make video games for a living and that I wanted to move with her to somewhere on the coast and that was that. Then summer came and I had nothing to do and she was away for a month abroad. I was very worried that I wasn’t feeling the longing and missing feelings towards her, and I still worry about that. Especially because we had spent an entire year apart and we communicated through text and calling almost the entire day and seeing each other once a month. I’m scared that that damaged our connection and that we weren’t even really in a relationship.

    Even when I just have a good time with her like playing a game together or something, it feels like i’m just distracting myself and not truly enjoying my time with her, as if she wasn’t even part of the equation of me having a good time, like it didn’t matter who was with me and it could be anybody. I don’t know if this effort is what it means to love, don’t get me wrong I do a lot of stuff for her that seems like loving actions but I don’t even know why I do them, maybe to just feel better about myself or maybe i’m just too passive and do this stuff just to make sure she sticks around. Maybe i’m just staying here to not hurt her and just to use her as a security status so that i’m not alone but at times my mind feels like it’s convinced me that being alone would allow me to grow and become more fulfilled rather than spending all my time and energy attending to her. Not that she forces me or guilt trips me into attending to her, it just feels like I need to in order for her to stick around even though I know deep down that she wouldn’t leave and she’s even said that if I didn’t do all those sweet things for her she would still love me the same.

    So sorry for the long post

  • Amanda

    Hi, i was wondering if Sheryl or anyone on this can recommend a book to help with relationship anxiety. i have looked through the ‘books’ section on the forum but still unknown.

    Help is greatly appreciated.

  • Bee

    My partner and I have just recently returned to work after having a lovely 2 weeks off together and 1 of those weeks we went on holiday. Before going on holiday I felt like I was doing much better and that was from just reading through the break free course (hadn’t even started any of the exercises yet). On our 2 weeks off together I didn’t have any bad thoughts or anything apart from the first couple of days into the holiday but then they went away and I felt so much love for my partner, I’m pretty sure another girl was looking at him whilst we were away and I felt like a part of me had to make sure she was aware he wasn’t available so I’d always rest my arm on him or something whilst we were sunbathing and we was flirting in the pool so I could make her aware that he was taken, anyway it was a lovely 2 weeks and I’d felt the best I had felt in a long time. I finally thought I was there, and then I returned to work today and since I’ve got home from work my heads been a mess again “you are always wondering if guys are looking at you” “you always feel like you need to look good in front of other guys” even in the moment I do wonder if guys are looking at me and I do wonder if I look good or whatever but I also know that I would never cheat. I would never be unfaithful to my man but the thoughts make me feel like I’m being unfaithful in some way. I don’t want to be with anyone else. I don’t want to be thinking these things and I don’t purposely mean to think if guys are looking at me or wondering if I look good. It just seems that whenever I’m at work (barwork) it’s like a switch goes off and I’m always conscious on how friendly I’m being etc, the minute I get home or out of work it’s like the thoughts have switched off. I’ll walk out of work and I’ll wonder if they’re looking at me walk out. I don’t understand why this is 🙁

  • a

    Hi, my current theme is that I am not necessarily stuck in adolescent love but I do hold a lot of the false beliefs associated. I am worried that I started this relationship from a point of false beliefs and since we met in high school and are now in college and living together that I can’t flip the switch to real love. I don’t know what I want out of life but i do know that she is the best partner I could ever ask for some I’m scared, I love our history and I don’t want to give up and start over when I’m “more ready”. I want to become ready and stay with this wonderful soul. Any advice?

      • a

        Thank you for the response, I’ve been addicted more or less to reading through your site for the past two weeks and I feel as soon as I get over one thought another one comes up. I keep thinking that I’m just too scared to let go and experience something new but I just can’t hurt her and even thinking about not seeing her anymore makes me cry. I just keep thinking I’m too young and first relationships don’t last and that I will have to leave in order to find myself or know what I want out of life. It feels like life or death right now, I’m so terrified and when I think about why I don’t want to break up I can’t think of any reasons but I can’t think of any as to why I would want to as well. I used to feel so sure six months ago. I also feel like I think about how profound the fact of two souls existing for each other and it freaks me out but I know she makes me feel safe, or at least I think so. I don’t know anything anymore. Please help

        • I know how much you’re suffering, and it sounds like you’ve gone as far as you can with my site and are ready to learn the tools and receive the support I offer in the course. What’s holding you back from purchasing it? I know it’s a big investment, but it’s much more than a course on relationship anxiety; it’s a course for how to work with your thoughts, feel your feelings, and learn tools for living that will serve you from the rest of your life.

          • a

            It is 100% financial reasons, I’m about to start a new job yet right now I am out of money as well as my loving girlfriend who says she would pay the full price if that’s what it took which makes me so happy. Thank you and I will save for it as I know it will help. Also would it help with this general sense of uncertainty about the human condition and how even if I’m having a good time my mind wanders to thinking that it has no purpose and I’m not truly appreciating or connecting with anyone or anything. Like I believe I’m physically in a place and doing things I think I like but then feel as if it was all fake and that I’m doing my relationship a disservice by not realizing the profound truth that I’m in my one and only life and spending it with another human being. Maybe I don’t even feel human and as soon as I do it feels fake. I’m sorry for commenting so much but I feel so distressed and want to just be the real person I know I can be for myself and my partner who in reality is a beautiful soul that I want to feel that deep sense of companionship with

          • a

            It’s just a general depression honestly, a lack of motivation or lack of emotion in anything in my life which makes me think really existentially. Too much time in my head yet no motivation to get out because I keep telling myself that I’m just distracting from my pain and that everything is fake. I probably sound crazy but thank you for so much support

          • I will connect with you via email.

  • Bee

    Did you get my comment above? And also how do I get the members live forum? I’ve had the course for more than 3 weeks

  • Ann

    Hi Sheryl,
    This post comes at indeed a -seasoned- time! Thank you. My girlfriend and I were just talking about the analogy of a garden. Recently she mentioned that my anxieties create the dynamic within the garden where I worry that a plant is failing, and give her a shovel so that together we can dig it up to examine its roots. While at times this may be helpful – perhaps there are diseased plants in the garden? – often times it’s merely the shifting of humidity, or the way the light hits a certain flower that causes me to worry, and pull up a perfectly good plant outside of the window when it is best to adjust plants. (My conservative family’s disapproval of our relationship has exacerbated my desires for certainty this year.) So the roots may well be examined, confirmed that they are good and healthy, but then the entire plant has been disrupted, its dirt shaken off, and the root systems of the plants around it may feel fatigued, too.

    After hearing this metaphor I felt acutely aware of how my anxieties affect her, and strangely they quieted in a profound way that both my partner and I noticed. I have looked imaginatively at the garden, and the many areas of growth and strength. Sometimes the soil needs watering; oftentimes the sun is hitting a petal in an odd light, and I worry it’s changing color permanently, indicative of (an always evolving) something. To regularly dig up roots to observe them when a plant may merely need watering or fertilizer is less than helpful to the whole garden.

    My inquiry, which I hope addresses others’ concerns too, is: how does one have the courage, enthusiasm, and insight to keep tending to the garden, in these seasons of humidity, light shifts, and worries of infestations? My partner worries (and this comes most often when my anxieties emerge) that we may not have the right constellation of feelings to support a lifelong relationship. She worries that we will end the relationship someday, and wonders if we should break up sooner than later, while the garden is good. I noted that this is like mowing over an otherwise healthy, meaningful, and growing garden, and she said, “well, yes, that’s true! but if the eventual garden’s wilting would be painful…”

    How does one have the courage to keep watering the garden, to continue harvesting and replanting in the space that we share, and know that it is good to do so?

    • We all must find the courage to stay the course when fear, which alters perception, enters the picture, as it will for everyone at some point in every relationship. We, in this culture, carry a belief that relationships should always be easy, which is why we have such a dismal success rate in marriage. The reality is that relationships will challenge us like nothing else, and it’s when the challenges enter that we must work to reel in the projection that says it’s our partner’s fault and instead turn inward to fill our own well, and from the waters in this well of Self, we can water the garden of love.

      • Ann

        Thanks, Sheryl. And how can we be assured that it’s the “right” or “good” thing to be pursuing the relationship, to continue tending to the figurative garden? What if the pain and worries of doing so starts to overwhelm such that we can’t see?

        • When you do enough of your inner work you will be able to tap into your underground reservoir of wisdom that knows when a relationship is fundamentally “good”. A better question, however, is, “Is this someone with whom I can learn about love?”

  • berry berry

    I cant access the forum sheryl..I was a previous member but forgot my password n isername..can u help plz?

  • My goodness, Sheryl; that was an absolutely beautiful read. I just shared it with my siblings and my mom, which I think is appropriate during our time of dealing with anticipatory loss of my grandmother.

    The expectation of joy is certainly something I struggle with on holidays and times like the summer, as you said. The “supposed to be happy” feeling is one I experience at summer BBQ’s as well as in mundane moments within my relationship. I get anxious and make it about my life and how something must be wrong; I forget to remember that it’s just a feeling that I need to feel and then can move forward, making room for happiness and joy along the way.

    Thank you again, Sheryl, for another eye-opening, soul-smiling read.

  • Valérie

    We are now in mid august and every year between now and september I start feeling restless and moody, melancolic for no apparent reason, I drive myself a little crazy trying to figure out what is going on with me every year… could it possibly be just an effect of the season!?