The Law of Cycles

Life is full of cycles. Everything in creation rises and falls, manifests and de-manifests, expresses and withdraws. This is the Law of Cycles. Coming to terms with the fact that life has its ups and downs, highs and lows, good times and bad times is a part of spiritual maturity. I have to admit that some days I’m better at it than others.

When things are on a surge and you feel the power of the universe assisting your efforts it is exciting and exhilarating to see what each new day will bring. When life slows and creativity ebbs and energy runs low, it is more difficult to feel that you are on track. The reality, however, is that everything has a natural cycle to it.

The seasons keep us in a rhythm of ebbing and flowing. The heat of the summer, the long days that stretch out forever, tending the garden, and taking picnics, are all activities that begin with a flurry and end in a relief to have life get back to a more regular pattern by the time fall rolls around. Just the opposite occurs in spring as one anticipates the days getting longer, the sky being blue more often, and the stunning change in the color palette of spring.

Life has its cycles in families. The hectic years of raising children, the sometimes turbulent but exciting years of teens, the expense of college, and the joy of seeing your children launched into lives of their own. There are empty nest years and then retirement years--each season bringing with it its ups and downs.

Our energy levels and moods also go through cycles and ups and downs. The tendency we all have is to over-identify with our moods and emotions. It is easy to get sucked in to down moods and get stuck there. It can feel like you will be down forever.

Spiritual practice is something that we tend to let come and go in our lives also. Sometimes we feel close to God and other times it seems that God is far, far away. It is so easy to view God through the lens of our own humanity. When we don’t feel close, we assume that God is not listening. I have a feeling it’s the other way around. If I don’t feel close to God’s presence on any given day, it probably has to do with my particular mood, not God’s.

One of the reasons that meditation, sacred reading, and prayer are called spiritual disciplines is that they are just that—discipline. It’s about showing up everyday in spite of moods or feelings. It is by inviting Spirit into my heart and life that I am able to make it through the waxing and waning of my energy levels, moods, and emotions. God is the steady anchor that helps me through the ups and downs and the bursts and surges of living in this world.

Sometimes I have to try and not take myself quite so seriously. If I find myself in the down cycle of life I can choose to view it as a bit of time for resting. Sometimes we feel more like a crescent moon than a full moon. Both places are OK. The wonderful thing to know is that Source is always present, just like the sun shining the light that is reflected by the moon--God is always there for me and His light never goes out.