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What Do You Need to Let Go Of?

There is a powerful momentum in shedding what doesn’t work in your life anymore.

The beauty of letting go
Credit: Getty Images

One of the most beautiful times of the year is fall. I recalled my daughter’s early November wedding in New York state’s Hudson Valley a few years ago. There was one large elegant tree on the grounds with red leaves. It stood alone displaying its beauty and strength. A wedding photograph captured its splendidness as the newlyweds posed in front of it.

When we returned to the wedding venue the next morning to pick up a few items, the tree looked different. Half of the leaves had fallen with the overnight chill. The majesty of the tree with its beautiful colorful leaves was lost. It was like any other tree at the end of the autumn season. 

We marvel at the sight and majesty of colorful autumn leaves, but once they fall, a now barren tree takes on a bereft look, maybe not so appealing. However, there is much to learn from the process of trees letting go of their leaves. A Facebook post I came across says, “The trees are about to show you just how beautiful letting go can be.” I hadn’t thought about falling leaves from this perspective so I decided to learn more about it. 

The leaf’s job is to turn sunlight into food for the tree. To do this they need water. The water comes from the soil and works its way through the tree to the leaves. In the fall, because of shortening daylight and falling temperatures, leaves stop the food-making process. Trees prepare for the winter and start taking nutrients out of its leaves. When the tree is leafless, it can’t make food. But it doesn’t get hungry. Instead, it rests. Although leaves are important for the trees, there’s a time to let them go. When spring rolls around, and there is enough water in the soil, they grow brand new leaves.

While humans are not trees, we can learn from them about the beauty and power of letting go. There are many things in our lives that don’t add value or nurture our well-being. Hurts, habits and hang-ups can consume our spiritual and emotional energy. Some relationships do more harm than good. There may be people we must part with in order to live to our fullest potential. Or maybe it’s a job that provides income but leaves us unfulfilled. 

Letting go is never easy but often necessary. There is no spring without autumn. If we can’t give up those things that hold us back, we can’t move forward. But if we embrace the benefits and beauty of letting go, we will discover the power of newness in our lives.

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