7:30 BELLS: Cut Off the Branches That No Longer Ring

Sometimes what once made us feel radiantly alive—a friendship, a job, an idea, a project, a religion—doesn’t anymore. What once rang fades to a tolling dirge. Often I have trouble recognizing this, trouble letting die what needs to die. This had value once, I think. This rang, once. So I attempt CPR and try to force life back into it.

But if you don’t let die what needs to, there’s no room for something new to grow.

The question is, how do you learn to recognize when something’s time has come? When do you pick up the knife?

Pruning is an art that has to be practiced, like any other art. Often the guiding principle is to open the tree up to as much light as possible. I once read something helpful, I don’t recall where: “Cut off the branch that has no singing left in it.”

Translating this into my own symbolic life language, I’d say this: Hold the knife with care. Give thanks to what once sustained you but no longer does. Then, with intention and respect, cut off the branch that has no ringing left in it. Let it die. Let yourself mourn. And then walk on.

New branches will grow. New buds will bloom. New bells will rise and ring, because you’ve purposefully shaped your life to let in new light.

Spring bursts from winter. 

7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
Join us on April 12 when author Kevan J. Atteberry shares what makes him ring, resonate, and feel alive.