How to Evaluate What Gives You Life and Eliminate What’s Dead

Uncategorized Apr 23, 2019

In order for a rose bush to achieve its full growth potential, every good gardener knows that it must be carefully pruned. There are three circumstances in which a gardener prunes a rose bush: 1) when the bush produces more buds than it can sustain, 2) in order to remove parts of the bush that are diseased, and 3) to remove dead branches in order to make way for new growth.

First, when the bush produces more buds than it can sustain, the overgrowth drains essential resources from the bush, and the gardener must choose which of the “good” buds are “best.” He then prunes the good buds so that all of the bush’s resources can be focused on helping the best buds thrive.

Our lives are just like the rose bush. We may have a lot of really good activities, relationships, or ideas that we’ve poured our resources into. But if we pruned some of the good stuff back, we would enable the best parts to get all that they need to thrive, making our relationships even more productive and happier.

Second, when parts of the rose bush are diseased, and every effort to nurse them back to health has failed, a gardener must prune the diseased parts to prevent them from spreading. Whether it’s a job or a relationship,  there are some elements of our personal lives that cannot be helped, and letting them go – whether temporarily or permanently – is essential to your survival.

Third, many branches are already dead, and taking up space that living branches need in order to grow. Similarly, there are many aspects of our lives that have run their course and can no longer contribute to your fulfillment. Those parts must be shut down so that the rest of our lives can thrive.

To recap, make decisions about what to prune by asking the following questions:

a) What is “good but not best?”
b) What is “sick and can’t get well?” and
c) What is “long since dead?”

Need a safe place to relate to others about this topic? Join one of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries Peer Groups. 

Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries with Codependency
Boundaries in Dating
 
Boundaries with Parents
Boundaries with Adult Children
Boundaries After Divorce
Boundaries with Narcissists
Boundaries with Kids and Teens
Boundaries in Church

 

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