Fall is changing to winter and as I walked through the forest the other day, I realized what a gift nature gives us. The wind was not blowing, but the leaves were falling onto my body at a rapid pace. As more and more released themselves from the trees, I smiled in the truth that Mother Nature has so many lessons for all of us humans. All these gorgeous trees were releasing that which no longer served their growth. It was not that they didn’t love their leaves, they knew that in order to become stronger, taller, more open to the potential growth of their future, they had to let go of what had served their purpose but was no longer needed.
Think about all the things, people, places, that no longer serve you in moving forward with your life. Everyone, every experience is a lesson to us, if we chose to look at it this way. Some people come into our lives for a particular reason and their presence is short lived. Others come to us for seasons and continue to reflect our beauty, our pain, the ability to change. Then, there are times when we must decide if these people are still serving our growth and if we are still serving their growth. Those can be difficult and challenging times because the reality is sometimes we must let go in order to flow forward. Our heart is not always ready to let go, but our soul knows we must travel on if we want to grow stronger, taller and open to our true life potential.
The last three to five years I have let go of many things and it has not been easy. At first, I fought hard, resisted, swearing I knew what I needed and letting go was not what I needed to do. I pushed on those close to me. I did all I could to force them to wake up and get on the conscious party train with me. What I really did was push them away. They weren’t ready, they may never be and it is okay. In all my resistance, I realized I was resisting my own lessons and attempting to make others learn them instead. I was not shedding my leaves, I was holding onto them with all my might, even though I knew they were dead, broken, crumbling, and hastily falling.
When I finally realized the internal battle I had waged upon myself which was affecting all of those around me, I stopped. The problem was, I didn’t know what else to do. This was all I had known my entire life…..hang on, don’t let go, keep dog paddling or you will drown, push, pull, control, but don’t let them see you crying or terrified. I decided the only thing I could do was pray.
The word “God” made me cringe, having been raised in a religion based on fear and control. I had to ease myself into a word that did not feel good in my soul, a word that brought back angry, fearful memories. Eventually, I was able to see God, the Universe, the Angels, myself, as One. I realized, we are the light, doing work of the light, having all come from the light.
I prayed all the time and my prayer went like this, “Dear God, I am scared, I am tired, I am lonely. I do not know what my purpose is in this lifetime but I know it is bigger than what I am living and I know I am here to serve. Please open me God to being your instrument to serve others. Please help me heal myself first so that I may be used by you to help heal the world. Please help me move through the fear, into love, light and healing of my soul. God, I am open to having no control and I am handing over the wheel to you. I do know after all these years, I have never been in control, it was all my own illusion. I love you God and I am here for you to use in whatever way you need. And so it is…Amen.” I said this prayer many times a day for months and nothing happened but I felt better. I knew energy that had been stuck for decades was starting to move through me, I could feel it. My interactions with those close to me started to change. I became quieter, thinking about what was kind before speaking. I was able to put myself in their shoes and stopped attempting to make them what I thought they should be. I didn’t know what else to do so I went inward and begged God to help me let go of the fear and open to love.
Eventually, I started letting my leaves drop and instead of frantically picking them up and trying to put them back on, I just watched them drop. I sent them love, I thanked them for being of service to me, for helping me grow stronger. I literally started living out of gratitude for every single thing in my life. If I lost my car keys, instead of becoming a crazed panicked lunatic, I stopped, said a prayer to my angels asking for their help, took a deep breath and then let go. Within seconds sometimes, I would find my keys, stop, look up and say, “Thank you.” I did this with everything including those reflecting back my own stuff I really didn’t want reflected back.
It has been almost six years since I started this practice. I have let go of a lot of leaves and I have been able to do it each time with love, gratitude and an ability to see they taught me so many wonderful lessons about myself. This growth only happened once I was able to let go of being in control, of being right.
Today, deep gratitude goes out to Mother Nature and all the trees around the world who teach us, if we pay attention, that in order to grow, one must be willing to let go, to take a leap of faith. That allowing your leaves to fall may actually be the one thing that propels your life forward, through the fear, the darkness of winter, the winds of change, the blizzards of snow, into the light and the birth of spring.