About a year and a half ago the man that is now my boyfriend sent me a gift on a very hard day for me. The anniversary of my father passing away. This anniversary was particularly difficult for me because it was the first one that I was spending in a new city that was thousands of miles from my family, I didn't have many friends here yet, and I just felt very alone.
Being the absolute sweetheart he is, he sent me a gift to make my day a little bit better. I opened the box and inside was this absolutely adorable plant! A white porcelain pot that held several small succulents, all different varietals, but all very small. I remember thinking how nice it was to have a plant that is known for not ever dying.
For those that know me well, you know that I really can't keep a plant alive for anything. A succulent really was the ideal choice in a plant. Roses will have wilted in a matter of minutes and Daisies wouldn't have stood a chance. This was exactly what I needed.
Being a gift from him I wanted to care for it as well as possible. I looked up all of the suggestions on proper care, nurtured it the way I was supposed to, watered it when I was told, and kept it in the sunlight. And this worked! For a while...
Some time in the winter last year the little plants would start to shrink back and wilt. Slowly I would see pieces start to fall off, finding leaves sitting at the bottom of the pot and no longer attached to the plants they fell from. My perfect indestructible plant was dying and I couldn't figure out why!
All of the care that I had put into it and still it was leaving me. I wasn't about to give up on hope though. I was sure that it had to be the winter darkness that was behind my plant struggling. It wasn't until the spring that I realized what was happening.
One day I looked at what had become a very sad pot of memories and noticed that one of the succulents hadn't died, but had rather GROWN! This little guy had beaten the odds and was not just surviving, but thriving! My hope for the plant restored!
This is when I knew that it was nothing that I had done to lose the other plants, but that they were simply holding one another back from growing. This plant needed the others to leave before it could grow into this big and beautiful piece of art that it is now. It just needed it's independence.
The same applies to us as people as well. Often times we are surrounded by things and relationships that are inevitably going to keep us from growing. We can enjoy them initially, try to nourish them to keep them going, but if they are holding you back it is healthiest to get rid of them from your life.
Over the years I have had friends and relationships and jobs come and go. People that I thought, in the moment, were best to be a part of my life. It took me a long time to realize that sometimes it is better to let these go. It took me even longer to be ok with it. In the end, I have always been better for weeding out what has held me back from growing.
It's ok to do what you have to so that you can grow.