I walk by this tree every day on my way to work. Last week, it caught my attention. I wondered, "How could this tree still be holding on to fall-colored leaves in the latter part of January?"
As the mental picture of that tree kept circulating in my mind, I began to see that tree as a metaphor for what I've been going through. Over the past two weeks, while my allergies have been raging, I've realized that I have been holding on to some "leaves" of my own.
For instance, I've recognized that I have been holding on to fear. One fear was the fear of using a Neti Pot. One of my close friends suffers tremendously from allergies and sinus problems, and she's been pushing me for a couple of months to get a Neti Pot. I swore I'd aspirate the solution to my lungs because I couldn't envision how pouring water UP one nostril would allow it to come out the other nostril. But I gave in. I tried it. The jury's still out on the Neti Pot's effectiveness because Puffs facial tissues with lotion remain my constant companion. The Neti Pot itself has not been life-changing. Conquering my fear of trying something new has. Now I just need to apply this technique to my fear of flying so that I can make a trip to NYC later this year.
I have also noticed that I've been holding on to pride, though it's hard to know whether to call it pride, shame, or just another form of fear. You see, I haven't written in the past couple of weeks because (a) I was exhausted from battling with my allergies and (b) I didn't want to write something that was subpar. After I posted about my migraine aura, I regretted it. I was somewhat embarrassed because I don't want this to be a "downer" blog or to be defined by my health limitations. Since then I've read some of Natalie Goldberg's book entitled Writing Down The Bones in which she states, "If every time you sat down [to write], you expected something great, writing would always be a great disappointment," and "If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you." (pp. 21 & 33) So, because it is in my nature to write to process things, I can't guarantee that what I post here will always be a great read. But I'm okay with that now.
Thankfully, not everything that I've been holding on to needs to be dropped.
During my allergy battles, I've been compelled to hold on to God because I haven't had much energy. And amazingly, I have not missed a day or even an hour of work during this time. I've also been encouraged by His Word and think it is no coincidence that I have been reading through the Book of Job throughout this time.
So in light of the tree that is still holding on to its fall-colored leaves, I challenge you to think about what "leaves" you are holding on to that you might want to let go of. After all, spring is just around the corner, and you'll want to have room to bloom!