“There is no true loss in authentic growth, only the natural process of letting go, outgrowing, pruning. The call of the next level requires it. Those who resist the connective opportunities that life brings to grow to their next level, never reach the mental maturity height to acquire it…even when they think they are on the path, their gap in understanding leaves them stuck where they left off, usually on a deadmilled-treadmill.”
I love finding coffee shops or cafes just to sit and watch people go by. I want to know their stories. Who are they? What do they do? Where are they going? Are they happy? Do they know what they are doing with their lives? Do they know what I should be doing with my life?
Sometimes they make eye contact. Sometimes they smile back. At that moment none of those questions matter. We’re just two humans who, for a brief moment, have connected at this tiny spot in the universe.
And that’s precisely what happened on a sunny morning in Barcelona. I watched a tree-trimming crew set up their safety perimeters. One of the men noticed I was watching them, made eye contact, and smiled. I smiled back. Connection. And a moment later we were back in our respective realities.
I sat there with my coffee and watched one of them go up in the lift. At first, he cleared away the loose stuff. Then out came the chainsaw. Those of you who may not be familiar with tree trimming, the trick is not to over prune, which can kill the tree. But for the tree to thrive, you need to clear out all the dead wood.
Now that I’ve reached the half of my journey that will eventually lead back to the US, I’ve been spending more time pondering what I’ve learned along the way. I laughed when I realized that a random encounter with a tree trimmer gave me a new metaphor for this year. Clearing out that which isn’t needed or is weighing me down allows me to grow and thrive.
It’s an intriguing thought. I’ve spent so much time focused on growth, healing, and transformation, that I didn’t realize how much of that involved cutting and removal. There are the obvious things like off-loading most of my possessions, leaving a career at a company I loved, and leaving everyone I knew and loved behind. There were even some people that got cut because they were detrimental to my healing and growth. But there were other things that I’ve cut along the way without realizing it. Stuff like interests that were ours but apparently not mine, a lifetime of obligation (it’s a Japanese thing), or allowing other people’s ideas of what my life should be to influence my decisions.
Like the tree, I’ll always be a work in progress. But with the right attention, I’ll continue reaching for the sun. Who knows, maybe along the way I’ll even find a place to put down roots.
The Wandering Widow.
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.