There’s an idiom that says “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. The unpredictability of March’s weather is typical. In the Northeast, we can get anything from -5˚with snow and ice to 50˚ with sunshine, in the same week! One day you can be thinking, “wow, it’s getting nice out and spring is in the air” and the next day you can be shoveling snow again. The saying is sometimes called “Pennsylvania farm talk”, but there are other places named as the origin of this the expression.
One is based on Christianity where Jesus is both the lion and the lamb. On the surface, the lion and the lamb are very different: ferocious vs. gentle, intimidating vs. docile, powerful vs. yielding. He was the “Lamb of God” sacrificed for the salvation of the world but He is also the “Lion of Judah”. The Lion and the Lamb together, just like the month of March.
Another is from a combination of Astrology and Greek mythology. At the beginning of March the constellation Leo- “the lion” takes over the night sky. The Lion was so big that he crushed everything he stepped on and Hercules, who was charged with banishing the lion, eventually flung him into the sky. By the end of March the constellation Aries- “the ram” (not exactly a lamb) has taken over. Aries was the supernatural ram that Zeus sent to rescue the King’s children. Leo makes way for Aries, just like the month of March.
This year March demanded to be heard. Where I live we’ve had snow, rain, heavy winds. There was howling wind and biting cold. There were thunderstorms and hail and fog. And….there were days of beautiful sunshine.
We’re a lot like the month of March. Different sides of us come out depending on what’s going on in our lives, minds, hearts or spirits. Some of us may live entirely in “lion mode”– powerful, leading, taking charge. Some of us may live full-time in “lamb mode”– weak, following blindly, self-sacrificing. Most of us probably move between the two extremes depending on what’s going on in our lives.
Sometimes we roar through our days, stomping on anything (and anyone) in our way. We don’t stop and think about how our coldness affects everyone around us. We might justify our actions by thinking, “I can’t help it, I’m tired (overworked, unwell, irritable) what do they expect from me?” We might think, “this is just who I am, I’m aggressive and prone to outbursts”, or “I’m simply opinionated and believe in speaking my mind”.
Other times we get lost in the shadows and become very small. We’re easily “herded”. We don’t express our opinions or feelings. We may not even think we have opinions or feelings. We may believe that being led, without a voice, is what we’re supposed to do; what we’re expected to do. We may have no idea how to not let someone else tell us what to think and how to act. We never demand to be heard.
A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. I once knew someone who was the barometer of how his family’s life played out.
When he was happy, it was okay for everyone else to be happy.
When he wanted to have a party, there was a party.
When for him “everything was right with the world” then, of course, everything was right with everyone’s world.
When he was angry, then everyone was supposed to be silent.
When he was annoyed, then everyone was supposed to disappear.
When he expected someone to do something, it needed to be done immediately (and of course HIS way, the “right” way).
There was a LOT of walking on eggshells.
There was never any joy in experiencing the “happy” times because the home lived in fear of when the next bad spell would appear.
There was the pretense of “happy” because that was what was expected, but it was false pretense.
A person like that man has moods that swing so far and so fast that you’re afraid to even breathe. Just like the month of March, those living with him never knew what to expect.
Even if you don’t live (or have never lived) with a person whose mood swings impact your life this profoundly, it’s likely that someone else has affected your day significantly in just one conversation. Did you ever have this experience- you’re in a perfectly good mood, the phone rings and after a 15-minute conversation with a less-than-positive person you hang up stressed and defeated? They likely feel better since they “unloaded” all their junk on you, but you feel like crawling back in bed.
Please don’t let anyone, EVER, be the barometer of your life. Don’t let someone else dictate how YOUR life should play out.
Be aware of how YOUR temperatures and storms are affecting those around you. Do you roar in like a lion and then when you feel better, leave like a lamb? If you do that often enough, it may become tough to have relationships where the other person ever feels like she’s on solid ground. If you live like the lion- always in command and powerful, can you become more like the lamb? If you’re always the lamb- docile and quiet and being led, can you let your lion be heard a little more?
Right now, there’s still snow and ice on my little property. There are also flowers reaching up through the dark ground to the warmth and the light.
Cold and warm.
Dark and light.
Ebbs and flows of life.
And so it is,
©2015 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living