The holidays, with family gathered around often gives us time to pause and reflect on life passages. The Bryds’ song, Turn, Turn, Turn says it well; “To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,” The lines are taken from Ecclesiastes 3, with music by Pete Seegar. If you don’t know it, it’s worth checking out. (*See link below) It’s poignant and profound now, just as the words have been for two thousand years.
I have been reflecting on how time is changing my family, the changes in our world and wondering where I am amid these passages. It’s not always easy, in fact, sometimes it’s hard, making it important to give yourself time to process the inevitable changes life brings.
Life turns in cycles and rhythms, like the tide, moon and seasons, a concept within the Law of Rhythm, from the Hermetic Principles. If we honor and flow with them, we’re joined in the circle of life, rather than fighting and denying it. This is the secret to living mindfully, with more ease and grace.
Allow me to explore this further. The lyrics of the Bryds’ song provides a context for this:
To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven (refrain)
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late
A Time To Be Born, A Time To Die
My mother turned 99 on Thanksgiving day, which is a thanksgiving in itself, while the 20th anniversary of my precious sister’s death was the day before. It’s always a poignant time of year, placing birth and death side by side, to notice the impact of each. This year, I was more aware than ever that our family has limited time to sit around our mother’s dining table, as we have for over half a century.
The message: We need to savor our time together, to be aware of the importance we each have in one another’s lives. And be aware that even in the face of death, there is time and space to birth something new.
A Time To Build Up, A Time To Break Down
While I am building a new career at this time in my life, there are other family facing retirement, alongside the younger generation who are gearing up launching their lives. Other family are moving, packing up one lifestyle in preparation for building a new one somewhere else. We are all in different places in this process of building up and breaking down.
Changes like this are often labeled as stressful and difficult. When we view it as part of the natural ebb and flow of life, we can be more matter of fact and move with ease through the course of life. Like a river, it carves it’s path by eroding soil in one place and depositing it somewhere else to make a smooth flowing bed.
A Time to Love, A Time To Hate
In families, relationships and behaviors are ever changing between love and hate. The person that was once loved, is now gone, no longer around due to divorce. We know each other’s behaviors, the ones that are loved, just as much as those that are hated. In families, we accept all this, whether it’s seldom discussed or a topic of much drama.
The polarity of love and hate are on the same continuum and we move between the poles of each fluidly with family and loved ones. But, in other areas of life, like politics, we tend to be polarized and launch rockets of judgement at each other as if they are stationary objects. Accepting the existence of both, allows us to accept our own ebb and flow without making a production of it.
A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven
Within our family, as it may be in yours, we each have roles. They have evolved over our many years together, but there is always someone to step up to fill the needs of the time. Now, with our mother facing the end of her life, there are many adjustments to be made. The executive decision maker has stepped up, the one to organize the difficult discussions is taking initiative, the compassionate philosopher is providing salve to the process. And there is one we hope will step up as never before. We each have a purpose and know the importance and the timing of the work before us.
Discovering our purpose in life is one of the great mysteries we must uncover and act upon. Families can make this process more difficult, with layers of expectations and judgement. It’s why it’s important to tune into the quiet yearning voice within that tells you if you are on track or not. “There is time for every purpose under heaven”.
How have you fared this holiday with or without your family? Are you aware of the complex ebb and flow of time in the seasons of life and death, of building up and tearing down aspects of your life, the feelings of both love and hate that coexist and your purpose within the whole of your family and life. The holidays have a way of bringing all this to light – for better or worse – and making us take stock.
Does this review make you aware of the seasons within your life that need more examination and consideration? My Transformational Life Coaching and Counseling is designed to help with this process of self-exploration. Give yourself a chance to truly know your worth and purpose, how you fit into the greater whole. Reach out through my website www.spectrumtransformation.com for more information and use the Free Consultation link to reach me. I’d love to explore this with you.
*Turn, Turn, Turn, by the Byrds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4