Saturday, June 2, 2012

Give Yourself Room to Grow

As I was watering my hanging plant this morning, I thought about how I had basically just cut off 80% of it a couple of months ago. The vines had become scraggly and the leaves were sparse. I made the painstaking decision to hack off 3 feet of vines leaving only fragments of what still looked fairly healthy. Amazingly, this plant that was but a shadow of what it had been, is now regenerating with completely brand new bright green leaves.

This is a big month for me. This is the final month I will be in the apartment I've loved for over 6 years. I have been getting rid of a lot of things over the last few months, but this month is when it all really happens. About 80% of my things will be sold off, given away, or maybe stored. As much as I would love to say I have no attachment to my stuff and this is just a step in the process, the reality is, I do have an attachment. These things are what made my apartment a cozy little home- a sanctuary from the world when it got to be too much. These are things that have been gifted to me over the years, things I've acquired during my travels, things that I've had since I was a child....

But in that moment of sadness I was feeling, I happened to decide to water my plant. My plant reminded me that sometimes we have to cut back what isn't growing anymore. We have to make the painful but necessary decision to give ourselves room to grow, even if that means we have to prune away first. It's not just about the physical possessions, it's about the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual too. I am sorting through everything I've literally and figuratively accumulated over the last few decades of my life in order to give myself room to grow and become a better and healthier version of myself.

In the end, what initially appears to be a setback is actually setting the foundation for more growth and progression than would have been able to happen if I didn't first cut back what was no longer serving me. It's a difficult process because I have to give up what had become so predictably comfortable. By clearing space to grow, I'm also increasing capacity to learn and love. Paul Coelho wrote in 'The Alchemist', "...when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too... Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are."

I want better of myself so that all that I love will benefit. What good am I to anyone or anything if I'm so attached to my comfort that my existence is just an excuse for everything around me to stagnate too?

Here's to taking a step back in order to fly forward.

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