Now, just hold on for a second. Stop your panicking, put down your phones – I’m not going to die. Well, I am, but not in the way you’re thinking. So take some time to hear me out before you jump to some nasty conclusions and start thinking that this is a cry for help.
That being said, I’m going to have to die. I’ve died already, and it’s going to have to happen again. Again and again and again. Over and over until the day my body somehow breaks down and they hopefully cremate me or something because the idea of rotting in the ground freaks me out.
Anyways, we all want new beginnings. We want to start our days fresh, let go of everything that’s happened before, the person we were minutes ago, to become something so much more. Whether you believe you can start over that easily or not is really irrelevant – the fact is, is that everyone wants to. To let go of all the things that held them back before, all the baggage they’ve carried with them throughout their lives, and just be free to be new again.
However, you’re going to have to die.
I always thought allegories were a little bit dumb. Remember all those stories you heard as a kid – things like the Tortuous and the Hare and all that? I hated them. I’m like – okay, I get that you’re trying to prove a point here, but your message is too much in my face. There’s no story here, there’s no journey or development – you’re really just preaching to me and using cute little animals to do it. Am I really going to learn anything through that? Does slow and steady really win the race?
Despite that, I love using pictures and imagery. Metaphors can explain thoughts and feelings in ways that simply using words and explanations can’t. So here’s hoping that this super cliche picture is more metaphor than allegory.
As a side note, I do apologize for how cliche this is. I couldn’t come up with anything better.
Okay, so take a garden, alright? Maybe we’re talking about flowers, or vegetables, or some guy on a farm with an apple orchard. You know, whatever you want to picture. So spring comes and all these plants start flourishing. It’s awesome. Summer soon passes (thank goodness because I hate the heat), fall comes on, the first snow fall happens, and blah blah blah. You know the drill.
Next year the farmer dude gets there, and let’s imagine that he’s a total newbie at this, okay? He’s got no idea what he’s doing. So when it comes to starting up his garden or whatever again, he looks at all these dead plants that were killed by the freezing cold, and he shrugs. “Welp, we may as well get started,” he says, as he continues to water all the dead things and hope that they grow.
Guess that happens: they don’t. He’s left with his ‘baggage’ of everything left over from before. He can’t create anything because he’s too busy clinging onto what was there before.
Now, this farmer dude’s got a neighbor. He’s not a total recluse, even though that might be what you suspect after hearing about how he treats his garden. Now, this other dude know’s what he’s doing. Whether he likes it or not, he spends hours in his field getting out all the dead plants. It’s hard work. He’s got to uproot these things, pull them out of the ground, completely annihilate all traces of them. And it hurts. His fingers become raw. He looks at some of the flowers he used to love, and cries over their loss. He mourns them.
But now he can start anew. So he plants new flowers, grows new and better things, and they flourish. His garden becomes more beautiful than it ever was, and ever would be had he just worked off of what was there before.
Here’s the point guys – you’re that farmer, and the garden is your life. Just in case you hadn’t gotten that yet. Sometimes, we’ve got flowers that’ll last through the winter, that’ll stick around. That we can keep watering and working on and they’ll be awesome. But sometimes, we have to start over. We have to get rid of everything there was before, in order to move on to better things.
You have to die.
I don’t mean literally, so let me explain this to you a bit here. You have to die to who you were before in order to become something new. You have to die to your insecurities, your fears, and your regrets. You have to die to your mistakes, the person you used to be.
And that’s terrifying. Not only does it mean letting things go, things that you’ve probably spent a lot of time clinging to, but it looks like you’re going nowhere! What are people going to say to you? ‘Wow, you’ve really got nothing, hey? Your garden’s completely empty. It’s really sad to watch you fall so far when you were such a good gardener before.’ But your flowers are going to blossom in the fertile soil, they’re going to grow and reach the sun and be absolutely breath taking. Their flowers, on the other hand? Are going to be choked out and murdered by the plants they couldn’t bring themselves to let go of.
Recently, I’ve died to myself. To who I always thought I was because this stupid depression has held me back from figuring out who I really am. I died to the me who was scared. I died to the relationships I was holding onto so I could create better ones. I died to my anxiety and my need to be perceived as perfect. And that’s not to say that it’s been easy – it’s really really hurt, actually. That’s not to say that every day I wake up as a completely new person and everything that came before has absolutely no baring on my life anymore, but it means that I’m actively walking towards and pursuing that newness. I’m figuring out how to die, I’m in the process of uprooting the dead plants that I don’t need in my life anymore. I’m figuring out which new flowers I want to plan, and how the heck I’m going to be able to do that. It’s a process, and it’s not always an easy one to take.
But it’s good. And it’s exciting. And I promise you, if you make the choice to die, just like I have, it’s going to be worth it, and your garden will be absolutely amazing.