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Autumn is just around the corner. Can you feel it? There’s a crispness to the mornings now that we didn’t have a few weeks ago. And there’s a shift in everyone’s energy — from the carefree ramblings and back-porch hangouts of summer to the buzzing energy of returning to our more regular routines of work, school, and family.

I was reading about the changing of seasons recently, and Pete Bissonette, a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council, espouses an idea I particularly like: that there’s transformative energy in each of the four seasons. Winter is focused on spiritual growth. Spring centers on health. Summer is all about success. And Autumn is a time to invest in relationships. 

Some people love the summer. (Personally, I hate the heat and the need to constantly slather on sunscreen.) Others, myself included, really look forward to autumn. In fact, fall is my favorite season of the entire year. With it comes the letting go of things — of unmet expectations, what we thought we could get done in the summer (but didn’t), the vacations that didn’t happen, the friends we didn’t see. 

This summer, Eric and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We had our hearts set on a trip to Europe that didn’t happen. It was bittersweet, but there were other things to celebrate this season.

When the fall comes, I inevitably feel myself begin to just lean into it, letting go of my disappointments like the trees let go of their leaves. And even before the trees shed their thirsty summer leaves, they turn the most glorious colors. 

There’s something to be learned in our relationships here. How many times have we had big expectations and things just didn’t pan out? It’s easy to feel sorry or resentful about that. 

When we step back and look at how our relationships go through seasons, just like the natural world, we can choose to stay in that place of regret, frustration, and anger. Or we can welcome a season of letting go and see the beauty in what we have rather than what we didn’t get or what didn’t come to pass. We can choose to glean that which is beautiful and good. We can harvest the blessings in our relationship. 

Putting ourselves in this frame of mind helps take us out of the rut of negative sentiment override into place of deep appreciation which is the antidote to negative sentiment override

Look for the glorious colors to come! Your spirit and your relationship will be better for it!