Let Go and Live

Let Go and Live

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go”

Herman Hesse

Each year, I marvel as the leaves change color on the trees and fall to their death. Each year trees release and let go to survive the impending winter months. The trees understand that in order to live, some things must die.

During the fall, trees release their leaves to survive. Trees actively “push” their leaves off, allowing them to die. It is an inherent, intuitive choice to do what’s necessary in order to live and bring forth new life. Photosynthesis requires a lot of energy and water, and during winter there is simply not enough of either to sustain foliage. During winter, trees go through a process similar to hibernation called dormancy. Everything within trees slows down so they can conserve energy. This is what keeps them alive during winter and allows them to get ready for the Spring season. To survive, they let their leaves die.

The trees show us the beauty of letting things go for our own survival. More than that, the trees show us how beautiful this can be. We don’t have to go into our next season or cycle kicking and screaming. We can release people, relationships, jobs, friendships, and cities with the same grace and striking beauty trees release their leaves. We can let the thought patterns, mindsets, and habits die that hinder our survival with the same dignified brilliance and splendor that tress let go.

If trees didn’t let their leaves go, they would die. They understand the necessity to release in order to live. Black women have such a traumatic and dysfunctional relationship with “strength”. We define so much of our worth by our ability to endure pain, struggle and to HOLD ON. The trees teach us that there is no shame in letting go. The trees show us how beneficial it is to look at the bigger picture. How in the moment, pride can prevent you from surviving. Some things you have to let go of or it will kill you. If the trees did not let their leaves die, they wouldn’t survive the winter season. And we all know that if you don’t survive winter, there will be no spring.

I’m grateful for the valuable lesson nature provides that I have yet to fully learn. I’m grateful for the reminder to let go so that I can live.


Kathleen Nicole

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