I had taken the houseplant outside to catch some summer rays. That’s when the squirrel must have buried the acorn. The warm days wore on and the seed sprouted. I didn’t notice until fall and it was time to bring the pot in. I could have left the little oak tree in its container but it would have become root bound and died. So, I transplanted it. Seemed to be a pretty easy decision; either the plant stayed where it was at and would not survive or be moved and thrive. Not the fault of the little tree, nor of the first container. That’s just how the laws of growth work. By moving the little tree, it was giving a gift to the house plant. Now that container could house something more appropriate for its size thereby, the gift of a good bye.
Now, let’s apply that same scenario to life. I’m watching one of my children go through a life partner dissolution. Although their relationship was great place to start (the houseplant pot) both people were stagnating and becoming root bound. What to do? Sometimes it’s the phrase: it’s not that you can’t go with me, it’s that you won’t grow with me. Staying in the situation was not benefiting anyone involved. Just as with the little oak tree, it was not anyone’s fault. It was just time to transplant. Another example of the gift of good bye.
Maybe you have had a similar experience. A significant other relationship, job, friendship or spiritual group that once held so much promise is now a chore to continue to be involved with. You find excuses why you shouldn’t go, or be with or at…but as long as you stay with it, you will feel an obligation to continue the connection. What an energy drain this can be, do I stay or do I go?
One of the hardest things we can do is to end a relationship, but what makes it so hard? Because we are finally admitting that all the promise it once held will never be realized. At one time things were going well enough, but that well enough just isn’t enough anymore. And what can be the hardest are the “what if’s”; what if it does turn around, what if we can make it happen, what if I am wrong to leave. Sometimes we are unwilling to take the chance on a magnificent life because we have become used to mediocrity. We can only grow as long as our roots have room to expand. The gift of good bye.
What happens to the houseplant pot that is left behind? Well, now it has the room to take on a new seedling. Maybe this one will stay because its size will be more appropriate for the container. Or maybe the houseplant pot will be another beginning host. We will never know as long as we continue to stay, taking up the room that another might be able to use. What area of your life needs to be transplanted? Where can you give the gift of good bye?