2015 has officially come to an end, and what a sweet end it was. While the last 4 or 5 years have been incredibly difficult I find myself looking forward to this new year with bright eyes and hope in my heart. Twenty-fifteen was a year of building, pruning and perseverance. There were so many days, weeks at a time even, where I wanted to give up; so many evenings where I wanted to throw in the towel. And yet here I am.
2016, a fresh new year, a fresh new age. Behind me stands a monument, an altar of remembrance. It's there that I lay to rest the churning of my heart. I leave behind the moments and stories that learned me, but that I know were set only for a season. It's here, on this mountaintop, that I stack stone on stone in gratitude for everything that has come my way.
With the new year in my lap, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the process of pruning. How it takes strength to identify death in oneself and to raise the shears. How courageous one must be to turn from the things that steal and not give life, trusting (if even only a faint glimmer) that whatever we trim will yield ten fold in glorious bloom. How brave one must be to turn from the trimmings and walk into new growth. This is not a process for the faint of heart. but.. the alternative-- no.
I will not linger at this altar.
The last few months have been ripe with realization. I see that which, while admittedly enticing, robs me; these emotions and desires in me that try to soothe my strong hand as it rises to cut them loose. I see death and I want no part in it, but I do not regret or feel guilty as I trim. I lay them gently, wrapped in gratitude and laughter, for I am more because of them. Just as I am more as I leave them behind. How foolish I would be were I to set all of these glorious and silly things aside and then linger amidst them. How futile, how wasteful, to continue to pour myself out over them. An altar is an altar for a reason. You sacrifice the whole of it; the good, the bad and the ugly goes up in one burst of glorious flame and you emerge lighter, more free, more able to move in your skin.
So do it. Lay it down and light it up. In confidence lay low all that would hinder your growth; watch it burn for all of it is behind us. Every good thing alongside every decision that grew us; every wonderful opportunity hand in hand with every moment we learned from. Your time is now, let go and grow.