PRUNING IS REQUIRED FOR GROWTH…..
By Princess Yinka Dixon.
Merry Christmas to those celebrating Christmas, and Happy Holidays to those whose celebrations happen at this period.
Many years ago, I was victim of secondary school mob action which threatened to ruin my life. I had a dad that loved me, although he, like many African dads, didnt know how to help a teenage girl and her up and down hormone driven emotions.
One day, after I had made several attempts to run from home, failed School cert, my dad called me and talked to me, like a proper father that cared. He explained why I needed to stay in school and pass my exams. How I can live in any country and survive as a female without hanging off any man… Parents are meant to “prune” their children.
That conversation changed everything for me. I clinged to my dad’s words was so much, so that, even when I fell ill in Queens Enugu, had an operation during resit exams, I refused to remain hospitalized because it would affect my grades. My guardian then, was my Catering and Domestic Science teacher, Mrs Oranye. She begged, but I insisted I must leave hospital to take my last exam. Yes, I passed and returned to hospital where my dad met me.
I said all that, so I can say this: How we are “pruned” defines who we are. We don’t all have the same experiences, so our responses to issues, things, situations, challenges, events, WILL (MUST) be different. I will never be like you. So, if you’re hoping that I will be like you, dont hold your breath. We are made as we are. Our challenges and experiences “prune” us so that we can impact others later in our lives, or theirs. It’s true you are not here to save the world. So, just to impact those around you….
Nature itself has it’s way of following set patterns. Winter is upon us right now and our plants are looking very dead and drab. Leaves are all falling off.
So, I came with my scissors to prune, with broom and dustpan to remove dead leaves, and a wet napkin to brighten the green leaves. The leaves that are hanging on to dear life, have been removed to make room for fresh leaves to grow. The soil too, is treated and now looks healthier.
My Aloe Vera are looking healthy, as if they’re not part of this season. They look strong and sturdy, hard hit, but still standing strong. Others around it, including those that came with beautiful lovely scented blooming flowers, have bowed to the weather!
The seasons of our lives are like this. If the root remain, life remains. We must not misunderstand the winter of our lives, because leaves must fall. However, we must not mistake dryness for death. And we must not also, confuse pruning with punishment. Pruning is necessary for growth.
During the cold, drab, winter-like dryness of our lives, we must spend time with our Maker. We must look inwards and prepare ourselves for the next interesting seasons ahead.
2020 has been challenging for many of us. Lots of people have died. May their souls rest in peace. Yet, those of us that remain alive must understand that there must be a “purpose” to life. Allow all the rancor and frenzy of the outside “noises” to cease. God is still The God of ALL the seasons. Winter did not stop because of the global pandemic. The trees still shed their leaves.
If you’re alive today, it is not by your power, wisdom, intuition or excellent judgment. Not one opinion, instruction, information, advice, or even illusion, can keep the leaves from falling off a tree or plant. Everything happens in its TIME. There is a time for “pruning”, according to the Seasons.
Let us “understand” the Times and the Seasons of our lives as well. Let us live right. The plants bloom in their own season, and rest in their time. Some plants are blooming right now. My Aloe Vera shows signs of life despite the dead leaves around it. But note this: Many of these plants are not dead, because of their roots. They will live, within their own season. This is why the Pruning is necessary to prepare for their season of green…
I say all this to remind us that we are all different. Live your life happy within your own season. Stop looking at the Aloe Vera next door. Embrace the dry seasons with hope for a better future season.
Use this TIME of “pruning” for personal growth. Stay well for today. Follow simple rules. Life is a process. Live life on purpose and trust the process. Trust Him who made you. May we enjoy a much better and blessed 2021 and beyond.
Your friend, sister, and mother to some.
Princess Olayinka Dixon
Single Seniors Advocates