So. I am the person who is always used to going and going and then going some more. I am accustomed to never truly slowing down and just being where I am in that moment. I have this mindset that I constantly have to be evolving, growing, making moves, getting better. But, I have come to the realization that I do this as a sort of avoidance. I run myself ragged to not have to deal with the "tough stuff" that life has dealt me, but that I have yet to actually face. Recently, I posted a blog about checking out. During that time with myself, I realized that I am not in a season of growing right now. At this moment, I am in a season of being still and of cleaning house (literally and figuratively) ...so, we can call this my pruning season. By definition, pruning is the act of cutting away the extra, unwanted parts in order to promote further growth and fruitfulness. We become stagnant and stop growing because we don't know how to let go and move on.
You see, in the past few years, I have had some very real ups and downs. I have been devastated by love and life, I have been failed by my health, I have had my father and nephew to leave this side of Heaven, and I have often times not lived my value system. While I have made great strides at changing and healing from those experiences, I have not actually dealt with it...internally or externally. I have yet to really process and get help with the wounds that life has left on my spirit. Much in that same pattern, I have not dealt with the buildup of things in my physical environment either. What do I mean by that? Well, when my dad passed, I just kept going. I am the executor of his estate, so I didn't truly grieve. I just shed those tears and got to work finishing his business. But, now 4 years later, I still have boxes of his things that need to be cleaned out and gotten rid of. I have clung to those things because in my mind, once I let go, I have to let him go as well. When my health failed, I lost trust in my body. It's like I live in constant fear and I am just waiting on my heart to shut down on me. But, I have yet to make the lifestyle changes that I need to make to be healthier and to aide my body in lasting longer. When love and life let me down, I just buried it deep inside and pretended that it wasn't there anymore. Not only did those wounds continue to fester, but so did a number of bad coping habits, including changes in my eating habits, spending habits, and my drive to clean out unnecessary baggage in my physical environment. I think because, again, correcting these things requires me to deal with it and move on.
Recently, in conversation with a close friend, I said "you know, I just don't like where I am right now. It's not comfortable. I feel stagnant and like I need to be doing something else". In that moment, I realized that I have been and am still running. I realized that in order for God to give me the deepest desires of my heart, I have to be still and clean up what I have now. I have to deal with those internal wounds. I have to clean up my physical environment. I have to let go and move on. I have to take advantage of pruning season. God will give us any and everything we ask of Him. I am a firm believer in that. But, what He will not do is give it to us if we have not prepared a space for it. How can I ask Him to give me my forever home if I still have boxes packed away in my storage shed from when I moved into this house 8 years ago? How can I ask him to send me my husband when I am still carrying around the baggage of rejection and resentment from a broken heart? How can I ask Him to let me have peace about losing my father when I have yet to unpack those boxes, throw things away, and properly grieve? How can I ask Him to give me 60+ more years when I haven't taken heed to the second chance that He gave me 4 years ago? How can I keep asking for more if I won't be still and clean up what I have now? So, what's the plan? I'm glad you asked.
1. I will take inventory....internally and externally. One can't know what they need to cut away unless the time is taken to really take inventory of what needs to stay and what needs to go.
2. Purge the physical.... It is said that external clutter and buildup feeds internal clutter and buildup. It's time to take a weekend and literally purge my storage space and my home to get rid of the external baggage that I have been holding onto.
3. Purge the mental and emotional.... Believe it or not, I have been avoidant and afraid to go to therapy. I mean, what kind of therapist needs a therapist??!! Ha! Silly me! There are some things that require more than the ear of a sister, friend, or mother in order to move through. I have reached critical mass....and I am ready to let someone help me move on. (More to come on that topic)
4. Realign.... Sometimes, life throws us out of wack. We lose our balance. We lose sight of what we stand for and of what is really important. We feel disconnected from our spiritual self. And that's okay....but, we can't stay in that space. We have to realign.
Pruning season takes a lot of work. It takes vulnerability and willingness to face the things we have been running from. But, I am a firm believer that on the other side of this season is something so magnificent that my heart and hand won't be able to contain it all. I will keep you all posted on the process.
Light and Love.....