By Steve Whyte, Sep 29 2019 07:00PM
Whether it is unconstructive habits, relationships, friendships or destructive commitments, there comes a time in life where in order for us to grow and step into our new self, we must let go. Letting go isn’t always easy as our branches get accustomed to holding onto seasonal plants and fruits, however, as the seasons change, the holding onto of out of season harvest can prevent and delay our new season and potential for new growth. Many times in life we come to points where we feel heavy, weighed down and overwhelmed by the plethora of commitments that we periodically carry. In these moments it is essential that we check ourselves and do somewhat of a life audit, filing the accounts of our wellbeing. The essentiality of this task is an understatement when we consider how quickly we habitually conform to unhealthy patterns of life.
As a keen gardener who lives in the countryside, I take great pleasure as I stand in my garden observing the lack of resistance within each plant and tree. Some know that they were annuals and that their cycle is coming to an end, some fear not as they are perennials and will be back next year, and some know they will keep their foliage amidst losing their flowers and unpicked fruit. I observe their patterns, their ability to grow throughout the summer as I prune, top and remove the dead heads. I liken this process to life itself. Sometimes we have dead situations that need trimming, sometimes we will be blessed with a new stem of hope, sometimes we will have to wait, but most of all, the season directs us as God permits.
Every year I witness the amazing act of the trees letting go, and every year it reminds me that not all things are for all seasons. This simple gesture of the plants turns my thoughts inward. Shifting winds blow away what is no longer needed. Nature is pruning, composting, and transforming life into what appears to be dormancy. I myself am compelled to let go in autumn. I am ready for stillness. I am ready for reflection. I am ready to wind down in the final quarter so I am at my best the moment before the buzzer sounds. My previous season prepared me for this moment and it is time to process. What destructive thoughts do you need to left go of? What commitment is preventing you from enjoying life? Where can you find balance? Are your branches too heavy?
It is easy to get caught in the melancholy of change. It is a strange place of unpredictability. When you file your report from your life audit, you may have to face some uncomfortable truths. Habitual mediocrity doesn’t look as harmful from branch levels. By stepping back and viewing the full tree, golden brown foliage sheds light on the conditions we have allowed out of perspective. Change isn’t comfortable, but when we resist, we experience the most discomfort. Remember in the midst of your metamorphosis that, it is in the art of letting go that new life is made possible. Those falling leaves are not perishing into the realm of nothing-ness; they are distilling into something that will fuel new growth and ultimately new life. Letting go means exposure, vulnerability, and a healthy dose of uncertainty. It means new things and we rarely know where new things lead. A new season requires a new mindset. When we change from thinking we need everything we have to realizing we have a plenty, it’s easier to let go. A new mindset will realign you and help you to be more accepting of what is, including some of the pain and dysfunction within your life.
I want you to know today that no matter how stuck you may be feeling, you can in fact transform into your greater self. God has a purpose in each season, and it is no coincidence that you are reading these very words right now. In the autumn, leaves fall from trees effortlessly. Following this cycle will allow you to connect with the will of God, to let go of whatever you can shed right now, without strain, resistance or struggle. The discomfort has its rewards, and you’ll see what your obedience and surrender did beneath the surface as you prepare for the awesomeness that is approaching in spring.
This is not how your story ends;
Written Steve Whyte