The increasingly bare branches of a tree demonstrate that it is preparing for change. The leaves have served their purpose. They got the tree through the summer. Allowed it to get ready for the difficult winter. The tree will flourish again next year. With new leaves. The process goes around and around. Shedding. Growing. Blossoming. Repeat.
Many things in our lives will cease to serve a purpose. Unlike the tree, we don’t shed them. We hold onto the dying leaves. Fearful that there will be none to replace them. We think we will be left as a baron tree but it isn’t true.
The dying leaves poison us. Yet still, we cling to them, wondering why we are feeling ill. The toxicity begins to consume. It isn’t until we are out of options, do we decide to shed the toxic leaves. Habits, relationships and thinking patterns can all be toxic but it is what we know. Or think it is what we deserve.
Alcohol was my poison leaf. Without it, I believed I would have nothing. I would be alone. A poison leaf is better than a baron branch. That was the story I told myself. Without it, I would cease to be.
It wasn’t until I released the toxic leaf that the others began to grow. It took time. I thought there would never be the green shoots of hope. But with time and patience, they began to flourish. New, functional leaves. Ones that gave energy instead of sapping it. Ones that gave beauty instead of contorting it. Eventually, flowers began to blossom. I remembered who I was meant to be. All along my fear of being a baron tree was stopping me from becoming the beautiful tree I was destined to be.
Drop the leaves if they are no longer helpful. If they are poisoning you, why keep them around? The thought that something poisonous is better than nothing? It isn’t true. The destructive nature is sapping your strength. Killing you from the inside outwards like termites. But you have strength. The test is what makes you stronger. Just like how the wind strengthens the roots of a tree.
The old leaves drop to the ground and become the compost for the future. From the old, grows the new. Brighter. Fresher. Cleaner. Beautiful. An integral part of the forest. With the ability to help others to grow also.
To grow, we must let go.