Making Lasting Change.
A Snowy Day
The snow came today. It flurried down from a grey, stony sky like the gifted feathers from a benevolent angel.
It transformed my world from dull grey to a brilliant sparkling white. Wherever it kissed the ground, or objects thereon, its magical Midas touch renovated and renewed the scene before me.
I love it when it snows. Wearing its cloak of brilliant newness, the world seems to be bursting full of renewed beauty and potential, to say nothing of the Narnia like wonder it evokes in me opening a time portal that can transport me instantly to a time of childhood innocence and unquestioned belief in the power of magic.
A Winter Wonderland
There is little more uplifting to me than opening the curtains to a world that has been transformed overnight from its mundane mediocrity to a winter wonderland.
Even the most ramshackle of tired, grey concrete buildings hold a beauty of ice-palace proportion. The litter in the parks and street debris disappear under a sparkling snow carpet wiping away all evidence of human carelessness.
All colour is wiped away as the icy white fur makes for a clean white page.
Everything feels new.
But of course, it is illusionary.
The snow temporarily covers the landscape and especially in the UK where I live, seldom lasts for more than a few hours or a few days at most.
Soon the snow melts. Leaving grubby lumps of greying white that have compacted in corners. Other than that, the world is just as it was before.
Just as beautiful, or just as ugly depending on your current perspective.
Most significantly it is unchanged.
The snow forms a cover up. It coats and cloaks, it disguises, and it gives a temporary impression of something better, or more beautiful, or purer, or cleaner, or more joyful. But it doesn’t last.
It strikes me that some of our habits, behaviours and activities are a little bit like psychological snowfall.
We find something that temporarily makes the world seem somehow better, more bearable, more enjoyable even.
Alcohol and drugs can be like psychological snowfall. Blurring reality and feelings like the gentle fall of snow. Transforming our feelings, numbing our pain, making things feel better, even for a little while.
Any activity that distracts from uncomfortable feelings welling beneath the surface is like painting over cracks. Like the cover of snow, it is temporary. In time the cracks will reappear.
But in time, like the melting snow, we will come once again face to face with everything being exactly as before.
Most of the time it is what it is. I can enjoy the snow in all its temporary majesty and still appreciate the beauty of what lies beneath.
Sometimes, after psychological snowfall, a person can be left feeling deeply sad when the temporary feeling melts away. Especially, when they see no beauty or hope beneath.
It is then, when you least feel inclined to you need to dig deep and make change at a much deeper level.
In order to change the landscape of your life you need to probe much deeper than surface matter.
Foundations need to be re-dug and repaired, because without them the whole house falls down.
I love snowfall and know it is what it is.
A strong building built on deep and well-made foundations during snowfall becomes a glittering and awesome palace. And when the snow melts, remains a strong building.
The ruins of a broken building during snowfall can become a mysterious mountain, or beautiful sculpture but when the snow melts remain a pile of rubble.
We are a work in progress.
Happily, we can rebuild, re-form, change, and start again at any given point in time.
And if we tend to our foundations, our innermost world and commit to working with our core and not just the surface issues then we are more than capable of deep and lasting change.
Change that can give us a permanent sense of contentment and purpose.