Let the Dead Things Go

I am saddened to report that my poinsettia, Zora has died. I got her in 2017, my first Christmas in my apartment. I decided to keep her after the holiday season because she was still healthy, and she has been with me through a lot of ups and downs. I was very proud of the fact that I kept this plant alive through heat waves, and vacations. This summer, I replanted her in a bigger pot to give her some more room to grow. After that I noticed mold on the top layer of soil, but she was still growing and thriving. So, I replanted her again, in new soil and that was the end of my plant. She never grew new leaves after that, and as much as I tried she died. The stems turned brown and started to die off. I now have 5 plants left, and some are doing better than others. But as I watched Zora die, it made me think about how often we allow ourselves to stay in dead situations hoping that they will come back to life. 

            I’ve been sharing my plant revelations over the past few months, and it seems that I still have so much to learn from them. As much as I tried to bring her back to life, pruning the dead leaves and branches, watering her, giving her more sunlight, she died. It almost seemed that the more I tried, the worst she got. It’s a metaphor for life. How many times are we in a dead situation, and instead of accepting that and letting it go, we fight harder usually to our own detriment? 

Our society looks as death as the final act, but in many ways death allows us the opportunity for growth and a chance for a new beginning. Yes, death is painful especially the death of a loved one. And while so many people this year, have lost loved ones it can feel as though death is just a painful reminder that life is fragile and often feels futile. But it’s precious. As I watched my plant die before my eyes, I was reminded of how there is beauty in letting go. Every fall as the leaves change colors and die, they remind us of this fact.  They don’t try and hold on to something that is no longer feeding them. They just let go. And we can appreciate their beauty in letting go. 

These past couple of weeks, I’ve been dealing with a situation (I will share more about this later), and the death of my plant coincided. It almost felt as though she was guiding me in the situation telling me to stop watering something that was dead. So, as I threw her away and cleaned out the pot, I resigned myself to let go that which is no longer serving me, in hopes of creating space for what will serve me. This is part of why letting go of the dead things is beautiful. Often times we will not let go of something because we have hope that it will get better and will improve, but the signs are right there telling us the truth. And by holding onto the dead things, we don’t allow space for the new things to grow.

We have about 6 weeks left in 2020 and I would venture it’s safe to say that we are all hoping for a better 2021. This year has been the thing of nightmares. But as you begin to prepare and hope for a better new year, I would ask you to let the dead things in your life go. Whatever that may be, it will look different for each one of us, but don’t bring it into 2021 and don’t allow yourself to force more life into something that is dead. 

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