There is a saying by an unknown author that goes: “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” Considering this last month of my life, and that the trees in my backyard suddenly look like their tops were dipped in red and orange paint, I’m reflecting on this quote.
Recently, I had to make some difficult choices about what I’d been holding onto. Sometimes it seems like we spend our lives accumulating, and that is rewarded by society, but I’m starting to think that what we let go of is even more important.
Here’s the Jeopardy answer: Toxic relationships, bad work environments, broken camping gear, and crazy glue-like thoughts and emotions. The question is: What should we let go of? Alex.
Relationships are not perfect, and some are worth fighting for, but sometimes it is better to be alone and sad for a while, rather than delusional. We need to love people for who they are and not who we want them to be, but we also have to recognize people for who they show us they are, and not pretend they will be who we hope they will be. If people in your life continue to not put in the effort, not include you, nor respect you, it’s time to channel your inner Elsa and sing: “Let it go.” This applies to friends, family, lovers, and co-workers.
When it comes to material possessions, this varies by person, but some of us hold onto things for “someday” only to have a decade go by with said items only accumulating dust on top of the guilt we amass for not using nor getting rid of the stuff. We were groomed to be consumers, told that the new thing would bring us joy, but sometimes, less is more. What would Marie Kondo say?
Our thoughts and emotions are some of the most important possessions that we need to evaluate. I spend a lot of time “unsticking” myself and trying to make sure that I am not standing in the way to my own happiness. Letting go of hurt and anger is forgiveness. Letting go of expectations and worrying is freedom.
I have caged myself with what others expected of me, but I can unlock the cage and fly away.
A good friend recently pointed me to a quote from the movie No Country for Old Men: “All the time you spend tryin’ to get back what’s been took from you, more is goin’ out the door; after a while, you just have to try to get a tourniquet on it.” Amen.
If humans were trees, especially those of us who have anxiety or self-doubt, fall would be a very strange time and I’m guessing trees would sound like this: “Should I drop this leaf? … Errrr … Maybe … but I love this leaf, I’ve gotten quite used to this leaf. What if the next leaf isn’t as good as this leaf? I put so much time into this leaf …”
The human tree’s little instinctual voice then says: “Trust me. Drop the leaf.”
Excuses and justifications continue, but the little voice says a little more forcibly: “Trust me. Drop the leaf!”
This is where faith comes in. You have to trust your intuition. Like T.S. Eliot said: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
As you drop the leaf, you feel lighter. The process of letting go becomes so liberating that you wonder what other leaves you can drop. You see further with the leaf gone. It’s also amazing what you might attract without the leaf.
If you’re holding onto a toxic relationship, bad job situation, frenemy, outdated belief, dusty possessions, or a negative pattern of thought, drop the leaf.