It’s dark for a long time in my part of the Northern Hemisphere right now. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year. That dark event happened this past Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:23 pm EST.
Winter can inspire both joy and distress in people. Some of us love the cooler weather, the snow, and the opportunity to ski or ice skate. Others dislike the frigid temperatures and unpredictable weather. In colder areas, like mine in southeastern Pennsylvania, winter typically brings shoveling, hazardous road travel, and higher heating bills.
I dislike the dark that seems to linger later in the morning and arrive earlier in the evening. Perhaps it reminds me of the tension between the forces of good and evil in our lives.
Right now, I know some leaders who are experiencing failure, living with sorrow, and struggling with depression. In the cold, dark days and nights of the winter solstice it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, tired, and defeated.
Perhaps leaders should learn to view the shorter days of winter differently. Might we imagine lessons to be learned from having less daylight hours to pursue our busy schedule? Could we welcome the emotional challenges that can accompany these dark days as opportunities for learning and personal growth?
When our leadership journeys encounter self-doubt, fear, and depression too many leaders lack the courage to talk about it. This year’s winter solstice season would be a perfect time to acknowledge our fears of the dark. Let’s admit our uncertainty about how to embrace it.
The long, dark nights of winter are not something to fear. We should remind ourselves that somewhere in another hemisphere, leaders are enjoying their longest day.
Our perspectives about darkness and all it symbolizes are just that, perspectives. They can be challenged and changed through experience and learning.
Invite your soul to enjoy the silence that winter’s extra hours of darkness bring. Use this solstice season to grow emotionally and spiritually by embracing both the light and the dark in your life.
While we may not clearly see the journey we are on, there is a Higher Power who can, and will, lead us on the right path even when it is not yet visible. In the dark of night, we are never, ever alone.
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