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Updated: Apr 21, 2023


By Dr. Elena Brei

You realize a lot of inner truths running a company on your own, and the biggest truth always reminds me of winter. Winter is mother nature’s form of a recoverable suffering. The ground freezes over. Plants and animals get into their defensive positions. And with a resolute stubbornness they brave all of the harshness that winter brings to bear. Fauna and flora endure frigid suffering until they can recover from it. And when they do recover, they’re better, stronger and healthier than before. In this same way, I have learned that all of us need a form of recoverable suffering to grow in life. We need to have panic attacks that we endure and push through. We need to feel alone and lost and search for our own way out, a path that will lead us back into the spring light and back on the right path.

We need to suffer, to walk into the cold and dark days, and continue to push through until the spring. Every winter I think about this as I take a short respite from my work. In my thoughts I hope that my children will also have their version of suffering and obstacles they can overcome and recover from. For just like the winter eventually leads to spring, we too need our rejuvenation through this everlasting process. 

But fighting us on this path is our desire for comfort. As we subconsciously seek safety, we often get into a safety groove, a comfort zone in our lives. In a way we all want a look at that magical book of life’s rules. You know the one, that one rule book that should we be lucky enough to find and follow will assure us of everlasting happiness and success. And that rule book does exist, but it hasn’t been written yet, or at least, it’s in the process of being written.

For you are the author of this book, you are the individual writing your own book of life’s rules. You’re setting the rules of when to say “yes” and when to say “no thanks”. You’re writing the rules of who you will associate with, where you will spend your spare time and with whom. And for the most part, it’s during your times of suffering, your coldest and darkest days that you will write in your rule book with the most indelible ink, with the largest font and the clearest testaments of who you truly are as a spiritual and as a material being.

And so, if this winter can bring you at least two blessings, may the first be the contemplation of the suffering you have overcome, the obstacles that have shaped you. And may your second blessing be the realization that in the coldest and darkest days we will write in our book of rules those things we want in our lives and those we do not, and we will do so with the most resolute clarity. This is not a New Year’s resolution, but a re-awakening to the flow of life.

With winter our lives can take a short break, an interlude between low and high tides. In this momentary space we can contemplate just how lucky we are to be present and awake in our lives, and how much further we have yet to travel when the spring of life is once again upon us.

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