What Changing Seasons Can Teach You About Healing From Unseen Pain & Trauma

There’s a short beauty in the transition of the seasons — and it’s a type of beauty easily overlooked. Through it I learned one of my most important lessons, and the biggest tool in my tool belt for mental health and relationships.

The air slowly increases a degree or two warmer every passing week as we enter the spring season. Two weeks go by and suddenly you crave sun on your skin and can sleep with the windows open. 

But you don’t realize this until you notice the top of your air conditioner has collected dust. You realize how fast time has passed since last summer. 

The tree’s gently buds new leaves, practically unnoticeable, and uncaptured by your eye and camera.

A few minutes are given back from the sun every day, but it escaped your notice. You light a few candles, flip a switch, disregarding the few minute difference, until suddenly you are shocked at the day’s sudden longness, full of opportunity.

The day turns into a deep inhale, instead of a quick breath. 

You wonder where the time went. But we’re adaptable creatures, so we move past it. We embrace the days to come, romanticizing the smell of grills and the sound of birds in the morning.

While the transitioning of the seasons is sometimes like falling asleep next to someone you love, seamless and with little remembrance of the moment when you slept, or for how long in your comfort and safeness — this can have a bigger magnitude with the harsher moments of life — the unseen gaps that creek beneath our heavy steps before the floor gives out.

Two things:

  1. As forward projecting beings, the transitions and smaller details of life may go unnoticed due to the bigger moments or romanization we envision about the future. We then become more prone to disregard the smaller pains, moments and conversations in our days.
  2. We are adaptable, survivors, with grit and willpower. Oftentimes we have a strength that we do not give ourselves enough credit for, but it is there nevertheless. While useful, powerful and brave, we also develop an achilles heel, of flying past the smaller pains, details and moments that will eventually become our vaster, bigger, enemies.

I refer to these pains as “small wounds. If you have any suffering, anxiety, trauma or trials, I’d encourage you to take a moment to reflect on this idea of small wounds.

Small wounds, metaphorically, for me are in the moment not as dangerous as the big, sudden, catastrophic wounds, but just as dangerous when mixed with time. Small wounds can compound, and create resentment; confusion, fear, triggers, anxiety and so on, and eventually, become more complex. 

By recognizing this, we can prioritize the importance of healing from small wounds. Don’t worry, I’ve learned that the seasons provide us the wisdom we need to address this, and put in efforts so we can have a mindset that is detailed and more aware.

I’ve grown up with a lot of health issues, and I’ve let a decade of minor daily nausea control me, but in subtle ways. I didn’t think this was a big deal. I would cancel plans, eat the wrong food choices, be late to class, or have my mood be affected for years.

Each time, I would adjust and adapt. Eat different foods, eat through stomach discomfort and make excuses. Eventually the issues started compounding and I got sicker and sicker until some days I was in bed all day, terrified of what was happening to my body. 

Multiple doctors appointments later, we realized I had a big ball of yarn to untangle to get to the core of the problem.

In other situations, I would be “small wounded” by the words of a loved one, and I would repeat the words over and over again in my mind until they triggered new words, bitter thoughts and changed my perspective of them. 

I would be triggered in other, unrelated, conversations and let the emotions build up until I imploded, creating a new wave of issues and things to work through and talk about — having to invest much time and tears into resolving them.

I’ve learned it’s the small wounds that turn our neck slowly. Taking us a few degrees off path each passing bit of time until we end up at an entirely new destination. Suddenly autumn becomes winter, and we aren’t prepared for winter. Or spring becomes summer and the days are sweltering.

Imagine your small wound as a physical one, that requires attention. Perhaps, it’s a conversation with someone to express how you felt after they said something hurtful. 

Or, it’s apologizing to someone after a heated text message was sent at that moment. Maybe, it’s journaling, to write down how something stressed you out or made you doubt yourself.

I’ve learned this is very true with trauma. Learning about my small triggers is just as important as my big triggers to find a more impactful way of healing. It’s also given me the grace I need to understand that the conversations that harm me may be due to my past, and that is okay.

 I have taken the power back and set up a stronger future due to acknowledging that truth.

The seasons are designed to be gradual in many places — and while this is not true or possible for all climates, nature has an art form (Thanks to our loving God) to display the importance of small details and microlessons. 

The temperature change slowly provides signals to the trees and small animals to begin certain tasks, and prepare for the season to come.

Small adjustments and time can create big things for you, including in your healing process.

My friends, sometimes God uses small wounds to prepare us for big sufferings and trials in life. While this isn’t as cheery as the spiced latte you are now surely craving (sorry) it’s TRUE. 

Not all good things are exciting, beautiful, and warm. Sometimes they are scary, and that doesn’t automatically make it bad. It might just mean we need to take action.

For those that don’t know me personally, at the time of this article I am engaged. This is a sweet and fruitful time, and I can say that with confidence, because I taste the sweetness due to the bitter days. I know it is fruitful because some of my sins and struggles have rotted. 

Tearful conversations have been had, small wounds have been made but also addressed and we are soon exiting the season to marriage better prepared, more in love and more sanctified because of this time. I would not trade it, return to go, or reverse the clock.

Like the small animals stretching their legs for summer, the seasons can prepare us, strengthen us, and bring attention to something that needs our time and love. 

It signals us to have the hard conversation, to notice the pressure points in a relationship or situation.

What small wounds have you had recently that you should take time to address or reflect on?

Oh, did I mention you get a free month of Skillshare when you click the link?

Written by Sarah Edwards. Want to get to know me? Say hi! https://liinks.co/setapartcompany

This article was originally posted for Set Apart Magazine at www.setapartcompany.com

Disclaimer: Sarah Edwards is not a certified or licensed mental health professional. Rather someone sharing real life experience and findings for others to find commonality and seek actionable steps needed for them. 

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