Lately I have been thinking a lot about pruning roses.
About how the rose thrives when its roots are strong, reaching into and meshing with a rich soil full of the right nutrients. About the skill and art of pruning the rose, finding the place where the rose is strongest and healthiest to make the cut, so the growth that emerges from the pain of the shears strengthens the plant.
As I thought, I realized something else. Something I knew from pruning countless roses but had never really thought about in terms of living my life. That pruning…real pruning…doesn’t cut away just the remnants of the bloom…something that has outlived its usefulness, but real pruning cuts away healthy, living parts of the plant in expectation that what replaces it will be better and stronger, the entire plant healthier from the loss and the healing.
As I continued my thinking, I came to realize I too often cling to things that are seemingly healthy out of fear or indecision, rather than make the cut and allow new growth to start. Thus, I am today less than I could be, and in one sense may forever be less than I might have been.
I look at myself as a plant in need of pruning…to of course search out the dead and the useless, but more important, to find the living things I cling to that take my strength without renewing me, without leading to growth and strength. I need to cut away things that prevent me from being strong and healthy and vibrant. I need to define myself clearly, and to live aware and conscious of my choices.
I need to rediscover my roots, tend to them, and place them in soil that is equally strong and vibrant. I sense that even my roots need pruning, defining, and that I need to look carefully at the soil that surrounds me.
The part that frightens me, that causes doubt and inaction, is that I am not yet sure what I seek, what I am growing toward. Perhaps I cannot let go of the past enough to go forward and move toward a new set of blooms. That speaks to my roots…the foundation of everything, and to the soil that surrounds them.
Strangely, or perhaps because the forces that guide this world decided it was my time, others have chosen to start the pruning process for me. People I have cared for, helped, and supported, have chosen to pull away from me because I can’t meet their needs. Or maybe because I was trying to meet too many needs other than my own.
I must prune myself if I am to grow, cut away people and things that have been healthy for me in the past, things that are healthy even today, if I am to move forward. I know my choices will be hard and that I will feel pain from the cutting away of things important to me. But to remain stagnant and weak is to die a slow death.
It is time to be my own gardener
Categories: Personal Growth