I adore this quote. I often forget that in this life, we choose what we keep and what we let go. If it is not serving us, if something is out of our control, if there is negativity that exists - we can let it go. We can distance ourselves, we can walk away, we can sever ties.
As the season changes, the trees around us will shed the "old" one leaf at a time, take a moment to be dormant, continue their growth, and present themselves in a new and beautiful way. I think we could all benefit from following this process ourselves.
It has been a very long time since I have woken up in the middle of the night to a mind churning with thoughts. But it happened to me this week. When this happens, I normally carry these thoughts with me into the following days.
I am currently being haunted by the past. Thinking about what I could or should have done differently in various situations. Blowing small actions out of proportion. Trying to remind myself that I'm probably the only one that remembers or the only one that was affected by what I did or didn't do.
Tangled up in these thoughts are many memories of "dead things." Items that are no longer relevant to my current life. Experiences that happened, were painful or embarrassing or hard, and are now gone. Leaves that I shed at some point in one way or another, but didn't truly reflect on until now.
I'm sure it felt great to let go of these people, places, and moments at the time. In my 20's especially, I was pretty reckless. I picture myself at that time in my life with a large pair of imaginary scissors, cutting ties the instant something or someone made me feel anything but happy. No reflection. No regrets.
But as I grow older, the reflection part, before the shedding part, has become so important. Why am I feeling this way? What should my next step be? Is this the best decision for my life? To shed or not to shed? And if I choose to shed - What did I learn?
Let's mimic the rest of our days, weeks, months, years, seasons, after the life-cycle of trees. Savoring the feeling of letting go, but just before making the decision to never turn back, taking time to reflect and learn from that which we are releasing. The moments of reflection are just as important as the moments of letting go.