For plants and animals summer is a time of quickened growth and development. The flowers of spring become the seeds, fruits, and vegetables of fall’s harvest. Likewise, most animal young achieve their greatest growth during this time of abundance and warmth.
Your personal psychology also has its seasons. The summers of your life are times of more rapid development and deepening of interests, abilities, or insights. Let’s say you are learning to be more assertive. Perhaps you felt ignored or taken advantage of by another person. This event offended you. You said to yourself, “I don’t deserve to be treated like this. I’m angry at this person, but I’m also angry with myself. Why didn’t I stand up for myself?!” Like the plough that wounds the soil so that seeds can be planted, so your own wounds plant the seeds of your future growth. Your hurt spurred you to a process of personal development. You chose to become more assertive.
Although summer is a time of dynamic growth, it also has its hardships and trials. Even plants must contend with droughts, insects and hail storms. The summers of your growth are no different. There will be times when you are pleased with your progress, and times when you feel you have fallen short. “I wasn’t expecting that.” “I got lazy.” “I lost my focus.” “I can do better.”
These feelings and experiences are natural and they serve an important function. They keep you growing. Just like the coach that asks more of his athletes with each practice, so life brings you more difficult challenges to keep you moving forward. This makes the fall harvest that much more meaningful and abundant. If your summer growth is too easy, it doesn’t mean as much.