Too easily we talk about change, building new lives or making drastic choices in order to move swiftly into the next stages of tomorrow. That all of a sudden everything will be different, that the slate is wiped clean and we can start again without a shadow in our minds or a cloud in a clear blue sky. That’s not reality and that is quite simply not how life here on earth has been designed. To make radical change and to cut off what we were doesn’t make sense, especially when we look at an old tree or our elders, we see that those that we most respect embrace the age and status, the scars of life and are happy to tell their tale without shame or remorse. They have learned to accept who they are and their choices, they embrace the subsequent consequences as part of who they have become. Growth really is a process of integration more than anything else, where we learn to accept the things that cannot change, especially the past, no matter how painful or terrifying.
We have to learn how to embrace it as part of ourselves and then ultimately set boundaries as to how much power the past has to impact on a flourishing future. After all, it’s only our memory of what happens and our wilfulness to breathe life into that memory that gives it any power to persist to remain.
There is also a lot to be said for growth not being possible without a certain amount of decay or destruction. We only have to look at plants themselves in order to understand the order of things. Plants grow naturally in the debris of their own decay. Letting go of what no longer serves them, is the fuel that sustains their growth. It’s quite an incredible thing really when you think on it. Trees only grow in unison of the trees and plants that surround them, all growing together. Letting go and standing together, their roots and branches all intertwined.
The greatest growth happens as part of a symbiosis through friendships, families and communities that support and carry us. The greatest challenge can be to find those who are going to encourage and support you as you follow through your natural progression in life.