The Sago Palm is one of my favorite plants ever. My Bestie (AKA Mrs. Sandra “Greenthumb” Damer) gave me this as a house-warming gift over 5 years ago when I moved to the Dallas area and into my own apartment. It was my first time to ever live alone. I had always lived with my parents or been married; so it was a super big deal that, as I approached [and by “approached” I mean went limp as Mother Nature dragged me by my arm kicking and screaming] 30 years old, I was finally getting to spread my wings and have my own space.
Sadly, a few weeks went by in July of 2016 where I was out of town or just forgot to water my beautiful palm, partly because there were more important things in my house to keep alive, like, um, a baby. I know, I know. Still not a good excuse. It was around the first part of August when I finally went out on the porch to give it a nice big drink. It was bad, y’all, and I had to cut off one big branch that was completely dead. The others were looking pretty yellow, and I honestly thought I was going to lose it. About a week later, I went back out there and these 3 new branches were like this!!!! What?!? That’s awesome! The color even came back to the ones that had turned yellow.
I was thrilled, but it got me thinking about how many times I had wasted so much energy on a dead area of my life, so much so that the other healthy areas start to suffer. Not only that, but it had kept new growth from happening as well. This helped get me started on my mission to focus on the things and people that God had called me to. At that time, I came up with a list of people or things that I believed needed my energy and focus. I even put together a KEEP Collective bracelet to remind me of this very thing. Little did I know it would be just a few weeks later that I would begin the newest season of my life: beginning to cut off branches I didn’t even know were dead in effort to bring the color back to the rest of my life and hopefully survive.
Several months ago I noticed some new growth, and over the course of a few days, three of the most beautiful branches grew from the very center of my “Green Goddess.” They were bigger than I ever imagined would have grown from this plant that I almost lost. All on the same day in May, my divorce was final, I got a promotion at work, and the three new branches on my Sago Palm were fully uncurled and on display. To me this was just a perfect picture of how sometimes, when it seems like all hope is lost, life can be restored. And sometimes, even if it takes a while, life can be bigger and better than you ever expected.
Over the course of the last year or so, my bracelet and plant have been almost daily reminders that dead branches were cut off for a reason, to celebrate the life that has come from the pruning, and to ask myself, “Are there dead branches that still need to be cut off? Am I wasting precious energy on certain relationships, emotions, insecurities, or tasks that I really need to just cut off so that the healthy ones don’t suffer and I can focus that energy on new growth?” It’s hard to cut off dead branches sometimes, but the life that can come from doing so is totally worth it. So if we were hanging out right now and you were struggling with the idea of cutting off some dead branches in your own life, I would raise my glass, encourage you to do the same, and say, “Off with the dead!” [Clink glasses]