If you know me, you know that I absolutely adore oak trees, find beauty in all flowers, and go out of my way to simply exist in nature. Though I can’t say I’ve learned how to properly garden or care for plants, there are things that nature has shown me time and time again. First, most plants need water to survive. Second, environment and placement are critical. Last, but certainly not least, pruning is oftentimes necessary and greatly improves growth and life.
For those who are unfamiliar with the process, pruning is the act of removing the diseased, damaged, and dead parts of the plants and it’s done for a variety of reasons. If not addressed, overtime more decay can come and actually kill the entire plant. Therefore, knowing when and how to prune the plant is not important. It’s life saving.
When Watering is a Waste It’s oftentimes challenging to accept a death in any capacity. Not because we can’t physically see something is dead, but because we can’t accept that it’s over. We are all guilty of watering dead plants at some point in our lives. Just as we try to put a plant to sunlight or water it after we see it is withered, broken, and its state is irreversible. We think that putting more effort, energy, and stimuli in front of something dead will somehow give it new life or meaning.
That doesn’t work in plants and it certainly doesn’t work personally, with people, or whenever it pertains to the alignment of our purpose. After trying to fix things our way, we realize that as much as it may hurt to let someone go, as uncomfortable as it is to dissect and destroy toxic traits within ourselves, or as difficult as it may be to find peace with a situation, we have to cut it off because allowing it to stay as a part of our life will only hurt us more in the long run. It will rob us of our joy, stifle our growth, and kill any chance of us moving forward. We either kill off the dead weight or slowly die with it.
Blocking the Shine Plants become misshapen, weak, and their growth is stunted whenever they are not exposed to the right lighting. I was the same way. As strong and tall as I may have appeared, at my roots I was drowning mentally and emotionally, green when it came to life lessons and experience, and would shrivel at the thought of rejection. I shined so bright in some areas and seemed to thrive, but in other areas I was lacking, stuck, and disoriented. There were a plethora of things I needed to address, accept, and change in myself and it was not an easy process at all.
For necessary change to happen I had to take myself, both physically and mentally, out of the comfort zone I was accustomed to. Therapy and faith helped me realize there were nonsensical and negative perspectives, situations I couldn't seem to make peace with, and a lot of confusion holding me back and acting as a dark cloud in my life. It wasn't until I got into a mindset and environment where I could self access and begin to learn and unlearn a wide spectrum of issues, insights, and information did I begin to see the proverbial light. I had to stop making excuses for myself and let a lot of things, people, and ideals go.
It's no surprise that after the assessment of self ends, the true assessment of circle, circumstance, and connections begin. During the growth process, some pruning comes naturally where little work, emotion, or attention is required. In other areas, uncomfortable decisions and boundaries are placed for protection and preservation. I had to discern the difference between attachments and connections I shared with people, acts of enabling versus mere compromising, and accept that if I wanted to continue growing then I couldn't hold on to everyone and everything anymore. I had choices and cuts to make, for the overall good of my future and well being.
Expired reasoning and relationships, sources of negativity, and destructive spirits were quietly and respectfully removed from my life. Not because I didn't love, respect, or forgive these people or things, but because I love myself, know my worth, and protective my energy and peace much more now. I’m not giving attention to things that drain the life out of me and I’m not even close to being sorry about it. The right choice is not always the easy one and pruning embodies that notion. Sometimes enough is enough and I learned that holding on to pieces that don’t belong in my life only prolonged the pain. Cutting off branches to mindsets, people, and environments that no longer served me aligned me with so many opportunities, blessings, and an increased awareness of self that made everything worth it.
Galations 6:9 states "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." The journey of evolving and elevating to our truest potential is not a cake walk but a faith walk. Change is seldom easy and growth is always uncomfortable, which explains why many people do not pursue them. However, those that humble themselves, make their alignment a priority, and break their personal chains never look back and regret the positive strides they've made.
You get out what you put in. No matter the magnitude of your struggle, how old you are, what you've done or how long you wandered in the wind; if you made a conscious effort to be better, do better, and attract better, the opportunities, energy, and interactions that come your way will ultimately get better as well. With that being said, with all the great blessings coming your way, you can't receive or hold any of them if you are bogged down with the dead weight of a toxic mindset, negative influences, stagnant surroundings or the inability to forgive. Let go, cultivate, and grow.