As I was “deadheading” my paperwhites earlier this week (yes, it's true), their incredibly crisp, white blooms faded to a shriveled, pale brown complexion, it occurred to me that human beings would do well to take a page out of the gardener’s notebook. Deadheading, or removing the dead parts of a plant or flowering bulb, serves two main purposes: 1) to improve overall appearance and 2) to encourage continued growth.
And so I started thinking about those parts of myself that I could “deadhead,” places that were draining me of my energy and likely affecting my overall appearance. (After all, the things we unnecessarily hang onto eventually find their way to the surface for outward expression, don’t they?) Whether it’s a few extra pounds, a flared temper, a shortage of patience, one cocktail too many – too often, laziness, disengagement, isolation, etc. - it finds us. And to be sure, all of that indeed causes an energy drain and severely limits our ability to grow and to flourish.
So, where are those places inside of you that could use a bit of pruning? What and/or who are you continuing to carry around from your past that no longer serves you in the present? Are you even aware of what’s actually draining you and stunting your (further) growth? Does the sun have a chance to reach you or does life occur to you such that you’re drowning in a deluge of rain? What is it that would actually energize you and have you open up again, in full and glorious bloom?As children, we appear as though we’ll be forever in bloom, in the richest expression of color the world has to offer. We dance in the sun and we delight in the rain. We’re bright and colorful and energetic. We’re constantly growing, constantly changing. (And yes, we do throw the occassional temper tantrum from time-to-time too.) Yet, as we get older and life continues to unfold, our continued growth seems to slow pretty drastically. And that's because we don't deadhead the things that no longer work for us or no longer serve us. Instead, we close ourselves up and shut ourselves down. We no longer let in the sun; it's presumably one grey day after another. And we're dying inside. As our hopes and dreams begin to fade, with no room (and no energy) to flourish, so too our white blooms fade to brown.
While you’re delighting in the warm embrace and incredible beauty of this Spring season, consider that it's time for your growth and renewal too. Make room for new blooms to emerge. Not only will your hopes and dreams finally begin to take root (like really, no kidding), the people around you will be in awe of your amazing beauty.