This morning I was clearing off the dead leaves of a bamboo tree that I bought this summer. I pruned the dead leaves with my hands in order to make room for the new, fresh green leaves and shoots to grow. I was thinking about when I bought this bamboo, I thought it was an easy plant to care for; that I didn't have to tend it very often and it would just flourish.
That's not what happened with my plant.
I kept telling myself that I'd water it "later." I told myself that it didn't really need my attention because bamboo is very hardy, right? My bamboo started turning brown. I admit that I continued to barely pay attention to it, even after noticing this.
Then suddenly I SAW it.
I saw what had happened when I didn't care for it and love it properly. My tree was practically all brown by this point. I felt so sad for the tree that it was dying due to my complacency and negligence.
Then I realized that I just had to start over. I had to acknowledge my mistakes, clear off the dead leaves and make a commitment to give it some love and tend to it. Now I can wait and watch for the rich green leaves that are now primed and ready for this new growth.
It's a very obvious metaphor for life, isn't it?
Sometimes things start out hardy and healthy and then suddenly life comes around and we are unable or we chose not to tend to them. We ignore them until the brown leaves appear and sometimes they get to a place that appears to be an ending. And maybe it is...but I know that we always have the promise of a new beginning. I know that beautiful, rich green leaves and shoots will come our way if we only make a choice to look at the browning leaves, roll our sleeves up, prune them off, and be ready to tend to this new beginning. It isn't easy and we can't be complacent.
If we want the new, we have to be ready to put in the work to release the old and tend to the new.
The promise of a new beginning is there. Always. It is a divine promise and it is within you to create it.
And with this, I say a loving goodbye to 2017. I am ready for the new growth, the beginnings and this promise. 2018, let's get it.