Winter has arrived, and as the bears, snakes, and other wildlife hibernate, many of us find that we are doing the same. We go inside, a space of deep reflection. We dress ourselves in layers of coats and blankets, warming ourselves with cups of tea, coffee and hot cocoa.
It is interesting that the word reflect has two definitions: one is to ponder- to reflect and the other to show - to reflect. Many of us find that as we contemplate (reflect), our vulnerabilities become revealed (reflected to us) and we feel exposed. Notice that it is at that very moment that we begin to cover up, to wrap ourselves in hats, scarves and sweaters, layering ourselves with protection, hiding our perceived weakness.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to lay bare our imperfections? To remove the coatings we wear?
I am not suggesting that we strip all of our defenses. That we stand naked in the cold, freezing. This would only make us ill. What I am proposing is that we permit ourselves to sit with a friend. That we give ourselves permission to take one sweater off and have a cup of soup instead, together. To tend to each others hearts at the same time that the warm liquid flows through our bodies.
There is definitely a time to layer. The winter brings with it a cold element that penetrates to our bones and it is important to take care of ourselves. There are those in our lives that when we visit them, we need to wear jackets. But I wonder, how many times do I dress in extra layers, in places where the heat is turned on, because I have just come in from the cold? How many times do I hold back, because in the past I had been hurt?
What would it be like to take off one layer at a time… to notice the sensations as the cold hits me… to feel it… to allow myself to fully experience the coolness… to notice when I want to go hide and curl under a blanket, to give myself permission to do just that.
I bless you dear friends, that as you cover your bodies, and go inside you do so with awareness. That you trust yourself to wear an extra pair of clothing when it is called for and you feel that you need it.. At the same time, experiment with taking some of them off and trusting that certain individuals have warm homes.