Back in January, I impatiently began scrutinizing my garden for signs of life. Then with the run of warm weather a few weeks ago, the perennials seemed poised for a head start, determined to poke through the soil. As I rejoice in these first green sprouts, I am aware I am only seeing the outcome of their struggle. I am reverent of the process to which I am not privy- those seemingly magical underground happenings-the dormancy and the slow growth of fragile roots that result in these tiny welcome shoots that grow into those magnificent blooms. I do not get to observe all that goes on cloaked in the deep, dark mantle of the earth. But I trust they are doing what plants do- pulling nutrients from the soil, resting, rejuvenating and eventually gathering strength to forge their way through the earth and turn their resplendent selves toward the light.

 We heal from our disappointments, betrayals and losses in much the same way. We go deep down inside of ourselves-maybe hidden under blankets, sometimes with a gallon of ice cream. We cry, we rave, we grieve and then we rest.  It frightens us to be in this dark place. We cannot yet see our growth and we are impatient. Yet, our time in the darkness is valuable and necessary-it is there that we replenish and rejuvenate. We too are enshrouded in an underground process. It is difficult to believe that we will gather the strength to burst forth.

 Recognize that in your time of loss and grief all the murky, dank stuff that surrounds you is rich with lessons, wisdom and answers to the long-asked, deep questions. Don’t dismiss this time of healing and renewing-just as the soil feeds the plants, this darkness can feed you, too.

 When will that happen? How long will this hurt? Those are probably the most frequently asked questions I hear in my practice. There is no firm timetable, some tulips are early bloomers and others may take longer; neither emerges until they are ready and strong. The process is organic. Let support, kindness, sleep and good food nurture you. Be patient with this difficult time and trust in your own process- knowing that it is here where you can gather the solace, rest and resources you need to grow strong. Then when you have regained your strength, you too will gently be lifted up through the darkness and back into the world- with your face turned toward the sun.


On a personal note, I gather inspiration for my writing from you- my clients, my friends and readers- and from the world around me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I would like to ask this-What would you like to see addressed in this blog? Is there a topic you would like to see explored? Do you have specific questions? Or even better, do you have something you would like to say?I invite you to “guest blog”. Everyone has something of value to share and here is your chance! If you choose to write a blog, I would be happy to nurture your process as you have nurtured mine. In this season of growth and renewal, take a chance to allow yourself to grow and blossom!


Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC is a psychotherapist in private practice and is the author of the award winning From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce now available in Kindle format for $9.99 as well as in paperback. Click here to purchase.

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  1. Laurie on the 08. Apr, 2012 remarked #

    Such beautiful rich words!! I will keep these words in my mind as every holiday still brings so kind of darkness for me, I will be sure to rest and grow in it!

  2. CJ Golden on the 08. Apr, 2012 remarked #

    The sprouts, while in their dark spaces, follow their paths into the light as nature intends. This is the way of Taoism – the ancient Chinese philosophy of acceptance. Would that we could learn that our dark spaces are part of our paths and, in that way – the Tao way – learn to accept.

  3. Sue I on the 08. Apr, 2012 remarked #

    Oh boy – this is the first holiday since my divorce in February (except for that stupid holiday called Valentines). Your words hit the nail on the head. I have no family around me now except for my two daughters and their families. My siblings are in England. I hope I will be an early bloomer. An hour plus walk this morning has helped and thank you for greeting me back with your insightful blog.

  4. Stacy on the 09. Apr, 2012 remarked #

    Reading those words immediately brought me back to the time when I was that root deep underground. When my world came crashing down it was January (years ago now)and with the Spring and Summer came my chance to bloom. The months that I was in that place of pain and despair felt like they would never end, but they did. I may have been one of those clients who asked “how long is this going to take?” b/c I just wanted it to end and I wanted to feel all better. I wanted to check off each box and move on. What I realized is that time is needed for growth and healing to occur, just like it takes time to finally see that flower bloom. Even though it was the darkest time of my life, it brought me to where I am today and for that I am forever thankful. Thanks for reminding me Donna:-)

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