Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Time: Pruning for Growth

Today Celie and I spent some time outside.  This is the first I've been out to really examine winter's damage.  I spent most of my time gathering garbage out of the woods that the bear drug off, and hauling scrap wood leftover from last fall's bathroom remodel onto the fire I made.  I gathered up broken glass and ceramics, I raked up junk and filth.  Our burn pile needs sifted through something awful;  somehow we acquired a good amount of glass and tin on it for recycling everything that we do and it's maddening.  It's a mess. I plan on working my way through, getting to the bottom of it, I guess you could say.  Just another thing on the list. 

I also pruned my roses, which is something I actually should have done before winter came, but I didn't get to it.  So, I get to do it now and pray that there will be regrowth??  This is actually what was mostly on my mind as I gathered, sorted, burnt and pruned.  I tossed things on the fire that once were new and exciting. I tossed pieces of my old bathroom wall into the licking flames, and watched as it ate them up. Isn't it funny how we prune off and rid ourselves of the past year every spring and don't think twice about it, but when it comes to aspects of ourselves we are ridding ourselves of we often stop short? Behaviors and beliefs that don't move us forward, those should be tossed out with last year's garbage on the Spring Fire.

Often we are blind to how attached we are to things. Maybe we're deluded? Are we addicted or attached? That's probably just a matter of semantics. We probably are pretty attached to things we're addicted to and likewise, addicted to some things we are attached to. So what is so hard about letting go, especially when letting go will promote new growth? I mean, that's the concept of Spring, right? (It's a metaphor!) If it's in our best interest, why can it be so hard to do ourselves this solid, and better ourselves? That's a loaded question. There are many reasons.

Cutting the canes of my rose bushes got me thinking of my own dead limbs and stalks. What pieces of me have dried out and shriveled up over the winter? What pieces of me need to be cut back...in order for me to grow better? I'm incredibly sentimental, almost to a flaw. You can't be sentimental if you want to rid yourself of toxic behaviors or relationships. You need to be ruthless with your trimming. You cut back until you get past the dead parts. You need to trust that you will see new growth.

Letting go has never been my strong point, even though I work hard at it. Therapy and the whole recovery road has forced me to analyze my behavior and relationships. Like the roses, we need to prune ourselves periodically if we want to grow stronger. Like the roses, the power of Spring can bring us back to life, but not until we throw our garbage on the fire and cut ourselves back. The hardest part is deciding which ends are dead or draining, and which ones still have the potential for new growth.

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