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  • Writer's pictureRenikko Bivens

Embracing Life's Changes: 5 Signs Your Seasons Are Shifting

Seasons change.

The only thing worse than being unprepared is being unaware. Because at least if you're unprepared, you have the awareness to know to get prepared. However, when you are unaware, you are completely ignorant of the need for change or preparation. Staying in one place for too long can be one of the biggest setbacks you'll experience. The activities that led to much success in the right season could lead to destruction in the wrong season.

Changing seasons

So many people are stuck because they're unaware that the situation has changed. The strategies that used to benefit them are no longer effective, yet they persist in trying to make them work in their lives. Not realizing that the season for that activity has ended. This could include work, responsibilities, relationships, obligations, family roles, and more. Perhaps you prioritized taking care of everyone else last season, but now is the time to focus on self-care and personal growth.

Recently, I found myself in this situation. I confided in a friend. After our conversation, I found myself reflecting on the past year of my life, pondering and questioning when things took a turn. How did I miss it? Perhaps I was so preoccupied with the worries and cares of life that I was unaware of the need to adapt to the changing seasons that I was entering. As the saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20," and looking back, I could clearly see where and when things began to change.

There is always a transitional period when transitioning from one season to the next. I always know when winter is approaching because the days gradually get cooler and the daylight gradually becomes shorter. It doesn't all happen overnight, but there are gradual subtleties that occur every day, signifying the changing of a season.

In our lives, transitioning from one season to another is similar. There's a gradual and subtle transitional period, but recognizable if we are aware of the signs of change. We can learn a lot by observing the seasons of the year and applying those lessons in our own lives. Five observations I've made about the changing of natural seasons that also resonate in my life. I recognize that seasons are shifting when:

1. Things no longer look the same.

We have a large shade tree in our front yard. In the summer, it's the most beautiful thing in the yard. In the fall, it's still beautiful, but the leaves are yellow instead of green. By Christmas, there are no leaves left on the tree. Every transition that this tree goes through represents a season and a passage of time. The same tree looks different during different seasons. If anyone had a question about what season it was, they could simply look at the tree, and its appearance would tell the story. Budding in spring, big green leaves in summer, yellow leaves in autumn, and no leaves in winter.

The same is true for our personal lives. A telltale sign that seasons are changing in our lives is that we begin to see, perceive, and interpret things, people, situations, and our environments differently. We may not see things the way we once did, but we can distinguish the difference. What seemed one way in one season may appear completely different in another season. So, when what we see no longer fits what we once saw, it's a sign of seasons changing.

2. Things won't feel the same.

Right now, in Georgia, we are experiencing some pretty chilly days and even chillier mornings. Definitely not the weather we're known for or accustomed to in the southern part of the United States, but it's not surprising to us. As Winter approaches and we experience temperature changes from season to season, the atmosphere feels different compared to other times of the year, but we plan accordingly.

When things no longer feel the same in our lives, it's a sign that we are transitioning into a new season. When we begin to feel uncomfortable in a place where we were once at ease, when we start to experience more agitation, irritability, frustration, and a sense of being constrained, confined, or limited, or when we struggle to find the words to express it, but things just feel different. This is a signal for us to be attentive, to raise our awareness, and not dismiss these feelings.

3. Things won't sound the same.

We can always tell when spring is here because there is always an onslaught of insects, frog croaks, and bees swarming all over the place. Step outside and you're guaranteed to be serenaded by the chorus of crickets and buzzing bees. I don't hear much in the winter because most of the insects are dormant or hibernating during this time. So, winter days, although not completely quiet, are less noisy than spring days.

Things may not sound the same to you when you're in a different season. You may find that your tolerance for things such as certain types of conversations, music, television shows, and environmental sounds may change. I listen to a lot of prayer, intercession, and worship instrumentals. Between social media, YouTube videos, and music, I often find myself experiencing information and sensory overload. It began to feel like my world was becoming too noisy, and I needed more peace.

Even the conversations that I allowed myself to hear changed. The excessive ranting, raving, and venting prompted me to find an escape from the conversation. At one point in my life, those things didn't bother me as much. However, as time passed, they became more and more irritating. Different seasons yield different sounds. If what you're hearing does not align with where you are, your season has changed.

4. Things won't smell the same.

It's not a popular viewpoint, but I absolutely dislike the smell of spring. The scent of flowers, trees, grass, and shrubs always brings one thing to mind: pollen. The scent of those plants in the air indicates that it's pollen season, and since I'm allergic to pollen, it also means I need to prepare for any allergy flare-ups. Often, the smell precedes any allergic reactions.

So, if something doesn't quite smell right, seems off, or raises caution. No, that doesn't mean that you're paranoid or delusional, or that your mind is tricking you. These are actual signs that a season is changing; when you sense something awry or off. I once had a professor who frequently used the phrase, "Does it pass the sniff test?" I would also use that idiom, saying that if it doesn't pass the sniff test, then there's a chance that things are changing.

5. Lastly, your needs will change, when seasons are shifting.

In the South, it's not uncommon to have multiple warm days in the midst of winter. Growing up, I thought warm days meant that we could slip on a pair of short pants and t-shirts, but my mom was always adamant about us wearing long sleeves and long pants. She would advise us to "dress for the season, not the weather." She understood that a day could begin warm and end freezing cold because the warm weather didn't alter the fact that it was still winter.

As spring approached and warm days became the norm, we were finally allowed to switch to shorts and t-shirts because the season no longer required winter attire. Our clothing needs changed accordingly.

Likewise, when we become aware that our needs or desires are beginning to shift, we may be entering a new season. Things you may have tolerated, such as the need to improve and achieve more, or for some, the need to take a break, step back, and rest, may change. With those changes comes our need to adapt. When what you receive or possess no longer meets your emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual needs, recognize that you are entering a new season.

Ecclesiastes 3

My prayer for you is that you embrace your new season, whatever that may be. Trust in God (Proverbs 3:5) during times of uncertainty, and embrace His plan for your life (Proverbs 19:21), even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing a new season.

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