We had a couple of beautiful warm days. It felt like spring had come early. But today looking out of the window, its grey, cold and still very winter like. Winter is a time of hibernation, a time where little grows, and all is quiet. It’s often dark and can be cold and scary. But then spring comes, and everything is awash with colour and new energy. Winter is soon forgotten.

Our lives have seasons too, and we experience are all kinds of winters. There is the winter when you have a broken heart. The winter when it all goes belly up. The winter when you don’t have enough money, or the winter when you couldn’t say no or ate too much, or the winter when you lacked motivation or that winter of unhappiness.

Sitting at my desk, I can vividly remember the dark winters of my life. There were times that I never thought I would see spring. My problems closed in on me, starving me of oxygen and blocking the sun. I avoided others, refused their helping hands, hiding from their worry, terrified of their pity.

Have you experienced winter in your life? Do you feel its cold dark hands on you?

I don’t think there is any simple answer to dealing with the winters of life. But the things that have helped me are to always look for the signs of spring. To search for a glimmer of hope and possibility and walk towards it. I have written before about the power of progress on our mood and think it applies here too.

It’s no good us wishing the winter was different or easier. The answer is for us to get better at dealing and coping with winter. As sure as night follows day, autumn is followed by winter. Winters are always going to be a part of your life.

How you handle them is going to make the difference between living the life you have always dreamed of and the life you have now.  So, what can you do during those difficult times? I suggest you follow a path of learning and growth. You can get stronger; you can get better; you can get wiser. Winters won’t change, but you can change.

If you can improve your ability to manage and cope with life’s winters, they will pass by with time. Of course, each one will shape and change you. But hopefully for the better. Justina and I often share a joke, that all bad things happen for a reason and when we look back on them often see them as being key stepping stone in our journey. Though, at the time, it was impossible to see beyond the problem. Only with the benefit of hindsight can we see the powerful boost those winters of bad experiences gave us.

I hope today if you are in the depth of winter darkness that you can find the strength to look up and search for the light. Watch for the first signs of spring. You can move forward towards it. You can overcome your challenges. As sure as night follows day, spring will follow winter. Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

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