Season of Regeneration

Life cycles much like the seasons. But if we stubbornly cling to things that no longer work for us we will never make room for new growth.~J.V. Manning

After a rather gloomy stretch of weather I was greeted with a crisp bright fall morning. Taking my coffee I went out to sit on my porch and breathe in the fall air. My home sits nestled into the Maine woods and I am surrounded by towering trees. There was a slight breeze swaying the tree tops and I found myself staring at my favorite one. Until a recent rainstorm the leaves on this particular tree had been an array of spectacular fall colors. Rich browns, golds and yellows that glittered in the sun. However with the rainy weather and strong winds over the past couple of days most of the leaves had fallen. They lay strewn across my lawn, blowing here and there in the breeze. I am always sad to see them fall leaving the trees stark and bare. 

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This morning though as I sat there watching the leaves flutter across my yard- something occurred to me.  The barren trees are still very much alive. They have simply pulled into themselves to regenerate- shedding all that was no longer needed. The leaves had served their purpose. Now was the time for the trees to let them go.

Shedding things that no longer serve a purpose in life is as freeing as those trees shedding their leaves. By letting go of all their leaves- they are in essence opening themselves to new growth when the time is right. For them it will be in the spring. But for you and I- it could be tomorrow, next week or like the trees in the spring time. 

But let go we must.

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We have to strip away all that no longer works in our lives, in our minds and in our souls. All that we hold inside of ourselves that may have served a purpose at one time or another but no longer does. Trapped anger that we used as a defense, sadness, self doubt or self recrimination. Bitterness and unhappiness that serves nothing. We have to strip away all the crap that has built up inside of ourselves- right down to our bare essentials. We need to make room to grow. 

I reached down and picked up a hand full of leaves. Holding them in my hands I reflected all that I needed to let go. Resentment, hurt, anger and the what-could-have-been and what-should-have been. All of us build things like this up over the years, it is life. But what we never stop to do, really focus on doing is letting it go. Sure being angry will help fuel you through a hard patch and building walls around ourselves to keep the world at bay works for awhile too. But if held onto for too long we only hurt ourselves.

Holding these leaves in my hand I looked up to the trees. Mostly bare now but on various branches a few stubborn leaves held on for dear life. They did not want to let go. Stubborn- like parts of me. Parts that I had clung to growing up that while at the time may have served a purpose but now longer do. Still I cling to them. Fingering the leaves in my hand I decide now is the time to let it all that no longer serves me or my life-Go.  One at a time I let one of the leaves fall and named one thing I knew I no long had room in my life for. Watching as the breeze carried them away I somehow felt free. I knew it would take some work. Old habits are hard to break but by identifying all that I needed to release was a start. 

Life cycles much like the seasons. But if we stubbornly cling to things that no longer work for us we will never make room for new growth. It is scary to strip away all that has gotten you this far. All that has sheltered you or protected you. But there must come a time in life when we shed it all. We, like the trees, must draw into ourselves and gather strength from inside our own mind and soul. We need time to regenerate. It doesn't happen overnight, but it will happen. Looking at the trees barren now of their leaves what I see is promise. Promise that in the spring after spending the winter regenerating- they will once again grow anew.  Same thing goes for me. I must make room inside my world for only things that will help me grow. 

A new season of life.

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