There is probably nothing sadder than seeing a person trying to resuscitate something that is dead. I remember once seeing a mother leaned over her adult child begging and screaming for him to awaken, I, along with everyone else present, knew that his soul had already left to begin its journey home because all of the signs were there. Yet his mother held onto his lifeless body, wrapping her arms around him, hugging him to her bosom, and rocking him as she called out for a miracle, tears streaming down her face. This was a woman of faith who believed that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”, yet she wanted her dead son to come back to life. Although I hope to never experience her pain, I know in my own life I have tried to bring back to life those things that have died.There have been many instances when I have continued to pour out my time and energy hoping to regain the magic that once existed. All of the signs of death were present: I no longer felt joy, and subsequently, spent a great deal of time crying, the situation was not growing and moving forward, and I found myself dressing in dark, somber colors that reflected my mood. Although I knew deep inside it was dead, I kept hoping for a miracle that would somehow bring it back to life.
I am a persistent person by nature and I don’t give up easily. I once had a professor tell me that I was a bulldog because when I bite into something I refuse to let go. Instead I keep wrestling it until I feel that I have won. The problem with this is that sometimes some thing’s just aren’t worth fighting for. Too many times I have exhausted myself trying to make a situation work, when clearly it was over. Like the mother, I’ve tried to will life into something that is no longer living.I have done this with relationships and jobs, with projects and people. I find this surprising because as a writer I understand the importance of revision. Things only become better after eliminating those things that no longer work. It's not just with writing. I see it in other things, too. Although I’m not much of a gardener, I am trying to grow a few things in my backyard: flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, and herbs. Nonetheless, I completely get the idea that with nature sometimes you must prune in order to get new growth. But that has not been a philosophy I’ve lived by. Unfortunately, I have watched the dead choke out the new opportunities trying to bloom in my life. I have been so afraid of what could come next that I desperately held on to what I knew, even though it no longer thrived.
This week’s questions revolve around those things that may need to be cut away in your life. Take a moment to answer these questions truthfully:1. Is there anything in your life that you are holding onto although you know it is no longer growing?
2. Why are you refusing to let go?
3. There is a great deal of talk about fright and flight but all too often fear paralyzes us
and makes us stand still, too afraid to move forward in life. Do you think fear is preventing you from weeding out the dead things in order to make room for the new in
order to move forward with your life?
4. If so, what exactly are you afraid of?