I was out walking my pup yesterday when I saw for the first time – even though I had passed it a million times – an oak tree in the middle of February hanging onto it’s dried up leaves. They hadn’t fallen in the autumn months despite the strong winds and storms that have passed through in the past few months. Well, I’m not much of a botanist, but I was thinking that this can’t be good. Did the tree get enough nutrients last year? Did something happen to prevent them from coming off the branches? Would they block the buds from forming in the spring?
And then it dawned on me. That tree is me. I’d like to think I’m not that old or stubborn, but I have been known to hang onto some pretty ridiculous beliefs over the years. However justified or not, they steered me and kept me focused on the task at hand. To some degree, they even nourished my soul and kept me safe. But if I’ve learned anything in my 40 something years, those same beliefs have lead me to places I don’t ever want to go again; where I had felt so alone and abandoned, where I was angry and resentful, and even to the point that I was questioning what really mattered.
I can give you a dissertation on my reasons for holding onto (gripping for dear life really) my full-time job while raising a family. Perhaps it was what I clung to that define my value by job title or paycheck amount. Perhaps it was because I knew what it felt like and be witness to being left behind and cast aside – where someone else told me what my worth was. Yeah… those dead leaves were superglued on tight!
But during a spring renewal, I started taking those leaves off one by one and leaning into how and if they were even serving me anymore. And what I found were new buds forming and when I focused on nourishing them, it was a blossoming of all blossomings! A weeding and seeding of new ways of thinking.
What beliefs are you hanging onto? And how are they serving you?