Categories: Community Blog

The best life lesson from the fall

By Laurel Vespi

I’m blessed living in Grandin where fall is always spectacular as the elm trees put on a spectacular show of golden brilliance. Fall definitely has a special appeal. It’s not just the limited appearance of pumpkin spice lattes. There is a freshness that comes with crisper air and back to school activities that promises new beginnings.

But there is another important lesson we can learn from this season: when you are done with something, let it go.

All around us trees are the living example of letting things go. You see, trees use their leaves through the spring and summer for respiration and photosynthesis. Then in preparation for the winter, they let their leaves go to help preserve water and energy. Basically it’s their survival strategy for handling the challenges of the coming season.

Pretty smart.

People on the other hand are masters at holding on to things long after they are useful to us.

Sure the simplest example of that are the piles of stuff that we stack in our basements or garages or storage units. Clutter takes a huge toll on us not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. I’m pretty sure that you have stuff that you could recycle, donate, or toss out.

But there are many other things that we also cling to that hinder us from actually creating the life we want and take away from our sense of satisfaction and fulfillment on a daily basis.

Are you hanging on to any of these things?

– old grudges and resentments from past hurts that are real or imagined;

– excuses that make it easy to stay stuck where you are;

– trying to please people or wanting everyone to like you;

– relationships that no longer support, encourage, inspire or lift you up;

– trying to control things that are out of your control especially other people’s actions;

– the one habit that you know you should change – yes that one – you already know what it is.

Sure there are all kinds of reasons why we hang on to things when we should let them go. We like to procrastinate by saying that we don’t know how to do it but I don’t think that’s really true. Mostly it has to do with the conversation that goes on in our heads about why we can’t or won’t do it.

Imagine what would happen if that inner dialogue was more about what will happen if we don’t let something go.

Imagine if we took a hard look at the ever-increasing cost of hanging onto things that no longer serve us.

Here’s the thing; holding on to something that no longer serves you takes a toll. It takes your energy. It takes up space in your life that could be filled with something more positive and empowering. It definitely takes away from your ability to handle whatever unexpected chaos life might have in store for you.

Take a lesson from the trees.

They don’t sit around thinking it’s hard or that they will never have leaves again or imagine what the other trees will think.

Nope. They just know that it’s the right thing to do. They take a couple of weeks to prepare for it and then they just let them go. They don’t worry about how to do it. They trust that they already know how.

Now is a beautiful time to let go of things that no longer serve you so that you can both better manage life’s challenges and enjoy what is most important to you.

Take a deep breath and just let it go.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.