Process. The word means so many things. We process thoughts and actions in our brain. We process what someone else has said or done. We process grief. We process differently. We process food. We process animals. We process enguiniety. We process chemicals. We process that which we can see physically and that which we cannot see both mentally and emotionally.

Everywhere we look we see processes occurring and most of the time, there is a period of fear, grief, or uncertainty intertwined in them. Fall is a vivid example of a process from summer to winter. Leaves turn to vibrant colors before the pre-winter winds carry them off. In winter, all is laid bare and the trees are naked, seemingly dead and vulnerable. In keeping with nature’s way, we also are often challenged to a new season or unexpected change in life, leaving us, as well, vulnerable and feeling exposed. How we process these times say a lot about us and our willingness to trust what needs to happen to carry us to where we need to go. You don’t have to buy into a system or group or idea to go through a necessary process. For example, you might not be a neat or organized person and this system of life doesn’t have to what you aim for. But you might be going through a process that is teaching you something about living with less stress, becoming more focused, or dealing with anxiety or fear in more directed way. In all honesty, every good thing we do, achieve, or let take place in our lives involves a process that is uniquely demanding of our time and affection.

As this school year starts, many of us will be putting our kids back in school or taking them out; kids are going to college, as are many adults. These are all processes and though each is unique, it can be equally exciting and scary. We trust the processes of school to get us to the next grade or year, yet there is always a certain amount of uncertainty as to how to graduate to the next level well. I have one child that struggles with the classroom, while the other does not. This is sometimes a great weight on my shoulders as I want to make things right and solve the issues at hand. I want to control their process! Yet, each of my kids and I are learning how to let go and trust instincts, parents, caregivers and teachers alike to help guide the way and hold hands through the process itself. Many of us may be about to encroach on a phase or task in school that doesn’t seem to be working out the way we wanted it to. We may have placed a system upon ourselves or someone else (hint, our children) that we have expectations will be met within a certain time frame or within a certain context; we are severely disappointed in such cases. The system is not what we must aim to please, but rather, we must submit ourselves to the unique process that changes us and changes others as their process unfolds.

If children miraculously go through thousands of intricate developmental processes of growth, who’s to say you can’t continue through maturing processes as well? How we change, as we watch our kids go off and face the many challenges of life is key to inviting patience and wisdom into our own lives. If there exists patience to watch seedlings grow into trees or tiny mole-sized pink things into majestic animals, there is room and space for you as well. And giving that same patience to others around you could be one of the biggest processes you may face in life. Never trust a system. Always trust there will be a process for all things at all times

Anna Lewis / August 27, 2019