“If you know where you are from, it will be harder for people to stop you where you are going.”

-Matshona Dhliwayo

I’ve been thinking a lot about roots . How the trees on my property draw strength their and nourishment from their roots.

How , as people, our roots can define us if we aren’t careful.

Our roots can be our pasts. Our extended family. Bad choices we made in our wild youth. Our roots can be our trauma, our pain. Addictions that we are fighting desperately to overcome.

Our roots are buried beneath the surface. They may be something we are currently drawing strength from. Or something that we loath, despise, and feel ashamed of.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we should let our roots inform us, not guide us.

Because , I do agree with the above quote. We need to remember from which we came.

We just don’t have to stay there.

We don’t keep the clothes we outgrow. Why do we think we have to do the same with our earliest circumstances?

Just because we started life in one place, one set of circumstances, doesn’t mean that we have to pick up and bring those circumstances with us everywhere we go. We may have inherited problems, it doesn’t mean that we have to move them from place to place with us wherever we go.

We may like our roots, hate them, or some combination of the two. We can embrace what will serve us, and cut ties with what hasn’t.

Like a large old oak that comes crashing down in a windstorm, we may find that our roots were shallow. The relationships we thought would be our tethers for a lifetime, simply crumble. Fall apart. Erode. As if they never existed.

Maybe our families changed. Maybe we did. Maybe we found healing, and our family isn’t quite there yet.

We don’t have to let the hidden parts of our minds, our hearts, our stories, be the boss of what is happening above ground. Our roots can remind us of where we came from, but that’s all they are . They have no real bearing on our present. Unless we want them to.

You aren’t your lying aunt, your alcoholic grandfather , or your emotionally unavailable parents. You are simply you. You are your own wonderful and messy, glory and tragedy. You are dearly loved, and also in desperate need of Grace.

Just like me.

And , if you’ll allow me to mix my metaphors, you get to craft the narrative of your own story. You get to decide how you feel about your roots. You get to decide how much of your story you tell. And who gets to hear all of it, because of course not everyone is worthy of all of your story, dear heart. That’s one reason it is good to have our roots covered. Our old pain and trauma shouldn’t be on display for the whole world to see. Thank God for the dirt covering your roots so that everyone who comes along isn’t able to pick them apart. I’ll

2 responses to “Roots”

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