Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Letting Go of Dead Things

I struggle with the idea of fall. Well, actually, it’s the idea that fall is inevitably going to tun into winter and I really, really struggle with the idea of winter. Like many Seattlites, I often feel the affects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) - it’s that depression, lethargy, and lackluster that comes with the shorter, darker days. This fall I have been trying to embrace the changing of seasons and becoming “okayer” with the impending winter. 

I am making a conscious effort this fall to notice my resistance to the changing of seasons. I am questioning my reluctance to let go of spring and summer and embrace this new season. I am a creature of habit and I thrive on routine so it’s really not surprising that I have a hard time letting go of a season that makes me feel alive and productive and full of energy. 

Nature is a powerful example of letting go of what was and transitioning into the next phase of life. The trees gracefully part with their leaves with even the slightest breeze. As the leaves begin to change color and die as fall arrives, they fall to the ground to make room for the new life that will bud on the trees in the late winter. If the trees can let go of dead things, why is it so hard for us?

Because, obviously, trees don’t have brains. Or hearts. 

That said, nature has much to teach us about letting go of what was and what no longer serves us so we can make room to give life to something new and more fruitful. As I have been working on this concept in my own life I have been embracing the idea that when I let go of what was, I am making space in my life for something that is ultimately going to be more productive and move me to a better place and give me personal growth that I crave. 

We can’t grow if we’re unwilling to let go of “dead things” - things that are no longer in alignment with who we are today, things that we are not passionate about, things that are not producing fruit in our lives. When we continue to hold onto these dead things we can’t become the person we are meant to be. Essentially, we are delaying our destiny. 

I don’t yet have this mastered but I have made Philippians 3:13 my verse for this season and it helps remind me in my resistance that the best thing I can do is forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. 

Don’t expect perfection of yourself in this letting go process. It may take time. It may take more than one season. It may take 20 years. I don’t know. But I do know that effort begets progress. If we discipline ourselves to focus on what is ahead, we will make progress in our ability to let go of dead things. 

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