plants, growth, growing, becoming, becoming new, rebirth, blooming

Just Like Plants, We Must Be Pruned Before We Grow

I’m thinking about challenges today. How we seem to get so far, and then fall. How we grow so much, and then find ourselves making mistakes, messing up, losing people, becoming victims to the crappy situations of this life. How this world is so damn imperfect, and we’re just humans, trying to make beautiful out of what’s gritty and tough. How hard that is.

I wish it was easier—falling in love, becoming the best version of yourself, letting people go, starting over, figuring what it is you’re meant to do. I wish I didn’t feel like half the time I’m fighting a losing battle, fighting against myself.

I watched a video the other day about a paraplegic. Here I was, b*tching about the strain in my lower back and there are people in the world who can’t even move. What a perspective changer. This woman was on camera smiling, laughing, telling the story of how her life completely shifted. Talking about the lessons, the blessings she’d found in her situation. How much she grew as a person, even in this life-altering scenario. Damn. How is that possible?

Sometimes I look at people who have really experienced the worst and weigh myself in comparison. If I was in their situation, would I be able to see the good? Would I let go and trust? Would I push through, believing that life was still worth living?

Sometimes I get questions that overwhelm me, people that are struggling wanting some sort of affirmation, some sense of healing. I close my eyes and breathe, I try to let God speak in and through me, try to answer questions in the best way I can, all the while acknowledging that these questions are ones I’m asking myself.

We’re all going through so much.

And wow, how painful that is. But how strangely liberating, too. To know that we’re not alone. To know that others feel the weight. To know that we’ll be okay because so many others have been okay. Because we’re fighting through. Because tomorrow is coming.

So we hold on.

Sometimes when I think about pain, I think about plants. I think about how they’re so damn resilient. Even when the rain doesn’t come. Even if they’re put inside, and have no access to the light. Even if they’re uprooted from their soil—they still find a way to grow.

They make do with the situations they’re in. They re-root into new earth, even after they’ve been displaced. They still turn their faces, open their petals to the sun, even if that means they’re stretching across their pot, even if that means they’re growing sideways.

They still grow.

And honestly, how much do we have to learn from plants? From trees? From nature? From the way leaves fall to make room for new buds? From the way branches are pruned and cut to allow for new growth?

So much.

Maybe that’s just one giant metaphor for the way this world works. Sometimes we have to fall down to learn how to get back up again. Sometimes we have to lose what we’ve held dear in order to chase what’s of value. Sometimes we have to say goodbye because everything is impermanent, we ourselves are impermanent, and goodbyes are healthy sometimes.

Sometimes we have to face the difficulty, the heartbreak, the pain, the change, so that we know how beautiful the world can be, how beautiful the world still is.

Maybe sometimes we’re taught lessons we didn’t know we needed to learn. Maybe there’s a reason, or maybe there isn’t, but in time we’ll learn and grow regardless, and become strong. Stronger than we imagined.

I don’t have all the answers. And maybe that’s perfectly okay. Maybe I don’t want to grasp all the ins and outs of this crazy life. Maybe I just want to speak as much truth as I can from the things I’ve experienced. Maybe I want to inhale air and know that I’m blessed, we’re all so damn blessed.

Maybe I want to walk around and seek understanding from the world around me—from the trees, from the flowers, from the little sprout on my kitchen table turning his stems to the sun.

I wish things were easier. I wish it all so easily made sense. But it doesn’t, but it’s not. And I’m learning to accept this. I’m learning to accept we all have pain and that doesn’t make it okay, but it does mean we’re not in this alone.

And maybe that’s scary.
But we’re not by ourselves.

And maybe we’ll fall and break and bend and change and get pruned by life’s circumstances sometimes. But maybe, just maybe, that’s where we grow. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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