There is a wonderful feeling in calling people and things into your life that encourage you to bloom.
But, what happens when you feel yourself starting to wither and the signs arrive telling you that it’s time to let something go?
I’ve had the tendency, friend, to cling to things long past the expiration date.
This has happened for a multitude of reasons, and I’m sure that you can relate.
Sometimes there has been a time commitment.
I’ve given so much of my time, as well so much space in my life to someone, that it seems a waste to not stay.
Additionally, I’ve clung to the comfort of familiarity and the safety of what is known.
So, how do we let something go in a way that is healthy and healing, constructive and meaningful?
How do we say goodbye in a way that celebrates what it meant in the time that it served us?
For, it’s not that it didn’t matter, it’s that it’s no longer serving us now.
Instead of blooming, we’re withering.
Relationships are a lot like plants, aren’t they?
Recently I watched the leaves of my house plant fall off one by one.
I did everything I could to try and save it.
I pruned what needed pruning. I paid attention to a watering schedule, ensured it had sufficient light, and misted the plant regularly to try to save its last leaf.
It was no use, though. The last leaf turned yellow, then brown, and I was just about to admit defeat and toss the plant in the trash when I noticed new green shoots pushing up out of the soil.
For some plants dropping leaves is a normal part of its life cycle, particularly in the winter months so that there is less foliage to maintain while the days are darker. Makes total sense, right?
Relationships will also go through cycles as we grow, adapt, and change. There will be difficult periods in which we have less to give to those around us and we have to pull back to tend to ourselves.
However, in this situation that is just a temporary loss. Just like my plant. If I’d have given up I’d have missed the period of new growth that comes after the cultivation.
Many plants, though, drop leaves because they are not being properly cared for or the environment doesn’t suit them. In these cases the plant’s leaves will continue to fall off and, unless the circumstances are changed, the plant will die.
How true of us when we find ourselves in relationships that do not suit us?
Parts of us will start to wither.
Maybe it’s the sparkle in your eyes that dims?
Or a loss of interest in the activities and hobbies that used to bring you joy?
Perhaps you’re ignoring your friends and not spending time with the people that know you best?
These are the dropping off of your leaves, friend.
Your body will tell you, too.
For me, this has always started with intuition. When neglected, though, it will also be accompanied by anxiety, migraines, and intestinal issues.
These are the dropping off of my leaves telling me that a current relationship is not optimal for my growth and that I need to remove myself from the environment.
Maybe that’s just it, friend?
Perhaps what is necessary for this situation is to listen to our intuition and not stay until all our leaves have fallen off?
This could be how we honor something, is to recognize when nothing else is going to grow from the soil.