I love metaphors. There seem to be so many divine inspirations coming to me these days in the form of metaphors. This week my lesson came from my rose bushes, looking less than lovely as massive clusters of dried-up and lifeless blooms clung to the branches. I want to see them full of color and beautiful again and soon, so I asked my gardener if he could use the shrubbery trimmer to get the dead bits off quickly. This seemed so much more expedient to me.
Jose frowned at my question and asked me if I cared about the plants; did I want these large bushes to last and continue to produce flowers? “Of course I care!”, I said, so he took me down the hill to witness, up close, how to methodically prune roses the right way.
One branch at a time, he diligently selected which should stay and which should go, encouraging me never to rush the process. He taught me to step under the canopy of leaves to see the real growth patterns in order to make the best decisions regarding which branches to save or eliminate. Jose told me that you can’t tell from the surface what is really going on with the plant. It might look full and healthy from far away, but up close, that’s how you can see what is really needed to have many more flowers for years to come.
On Saturday I returned to the rose bushes, clippers in hand and ready to do the job the way I was instructed. For a couple of hours I bent and examined the limbs of each plant, carefully deciding which to cut in order to provide more room for the others to grow.
I thought of my own life and how important it is to go underneath the surface in order to gain a better perspective. And I realized from my gardener’s directions that I don’t want the bits ‘that go sideways,” because these are the parts that suffocate the stronger blooms.
At times, I’d clip these sideways growing branches and cringe when I’d see a blossom clinging on the ends. It felt reckless as I tossed the last, remaining flowers. But I chose to trust the directions I’d been given, remembering that these blooms were temporary. Many, many more would grow in their place.
Our relationships and deciding to start over can be like the practice of pruning roses. We must be dedicated and patient, willing to spend time with ourselves, deciphering the what we’ve grown used to and that might be stunting our growth and keeping us from being the vibrant person we are meant to be. It’s not always comfortable doing this work. Sometimes it can feel like a big gamble, to clip and not know what will come from this elimination, these parts of ourselves that are familiar and comfortable. This is when we must cling by faith, faith that what will be birthed in place of what we’ve relinquished will be more beautiful and strong. This is the way of creating the life we deeply desire. We are, after all, the gardeners of our lives. It’s up to us to decide: Will we take short cuts and stay complacent with a flower from time to time? Or will we take risks and allow ourselves to become the spectacular gift of nature we were designed to be? It’s always our choice.
Here’s to your blossoming into your fullest!
Much love and light always!
Sara Loos is a holistic healer, relationship empowerment coach and author. She works with women in troubled marriages, online and in person, to help them break free of pain and doubt and to create the life they were meant to live. Learn more about the services she offers at www.saraloos.com