A good friend of mine says, “Burn what no longer serves you.”
Initially, this sounds harsh. But in truth, this is what we are all meant to do at one time or another in our lives. We are meant to release ourselves of the shame, guilt, heartache, heartbreak and drama that far too often ensues us.
When we release these things, it doesn’t mean that they will never return to us, but rather that we will not return to them. Hence, when they return because we are different they too must be different in order to join us.
It’s like straw after a harvest. Farmers can till the straw into the soil to make way for the forthcoming harvest seeds, but when there is an excess – an amount that creates a disservice to the farmer – s/he will often opt to burn the straw rather than fight with it to make it serve their purposes.
Allow me to use another example. A great book called “It IS your parents’ fault” by van Munich and Katz, gives a great analogy from a horrible low-budget war film. A team of soldiers embark on a suicide mission to blow up a dam and flood a bridge and take out a Nazi platoon. But in the process, the men are knocked out and wake up to find that the dam hasn’t blown. They haul tail out of there ready to commence a new plan under the impression that their explosives are duds. However, in typical Hollywood style, the explosives detonate just as they make it out of the cave beneath the dam – just barely escaping with their lives.
But here’s the most interesting part of the story, the authors tell us that though the explosives detonated the dam didn’t blow. Instead, it cracked. The crack eased up the side of the structure, growing immensely as water pressure built up against the faulty barrier. Before long the dam burst and the bridge was flooded. The Nazis drowned, the Americans won and everyone lived happily ever after.
See, there are numerous points to that story. For one, learning to destroy the barriers in you way and release yourself of your tormentors can often mean starting with something unlikely. The Americans probably could’ve just blown the bridge, but the risk would’ve been too great. The outnumbered and out-gunned. They would’ve been dead on arrival. But by blowing the dam, they could engage from a safe distance and still get the job done.
Which brings me to the second point. When you’re getting rid of what ails you, be careful. Set the detonator and get the hell out of dodge! Sometimes we get too close to our demons too fast and they eat us alive. Or worse, we micromanage them and never boot them the hell out of our lives like we swear we’re trying to do.
As human beings we have been fooled into believing that we know better than the Great Beings who created us. We feel compelled to oversee every aspect of our growth down to the tiniest minutiae. we swear something must be wrong because the way we envisioned the process is usually not the way it goes at all.
But if your back is towards what’s not serving you, you don’t know what the process looks like. You merely know when it’s done.
Which brings me to my last and final point: celebrate!
Surely, those soldiers were headed into another assignment after they’d blown the dam, but before they ventured off to the next task the author tells us they celebrated – soggy cigars and all. You might have the residue, the remnants and the scars of your excursion still lingering when the job is done – but bask nonetheless. The battle is over. Even if you haven’t won the war, do a victory dance anyway. Knowing how to celebrate your triumphs can give you the energy boost you need to keep going when you feel defeated in the future.
In the end it all comes down to the same thing – burn the bridge, blow the dam, grow.
Good luck and Namaste.