Dirt

May can be a terrifying time. So much change occurs during the 30 short days. For those in college, it could be the reality check of graduation or the last month of singleness for the engaged. Others are preparing for summer plans of internships, school, traveling, etc. During the transition, it is easy to get caught up in the frustrations of the previous semester or the entire college experience. Many have regrets of bad grades, relationships, or fears for the future from lack of discipline and much more. I am among those who have struggled with certain aspects of life and found myself wishing I could dispose of the memories, until last fall.

On a gorgeous Sunday during the fall 2008 semester, I went to the park. My mind slowly drifted off and I thought about Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. More than that, I thought about a new year. As I allowed my thoughts to wander, they browsed over the significance of the year, 2008. I replayed many defining moments throughout the year.

My feet began to drag the ground. There were leaves– pretty, colorful ones. My feet played with them, pushing them into piles. As I did, I noticed the dirt underneath, dark and ugly. In my abstract state of mind I thought about how in January of 2008, I tried covering up my ugly dirt with leaves. Though the leaves may be pretty and colorful, they are, nevertheless, dead. I was covering up the ugly with colorful, yet dead distractions. Then I uncovered the past, pushed the distractions away and looked at my dirt. There was no disposing of it.

Throughout the year my past experiences kept coming up. Situations and people came across my path that could relate with my past. So I stopped trying to hide it. Being open and honest about whom I really am is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We were linked because of that dirt and as the result–something beautiful came forth.

As soon as I cultivated the ground, I had room to grow. What’s holding us back? Past experiences? The idea that we’ll never change or get past the ugly dirt we are covering up?

To be here, we had to come from somewhere, and maybe, just maybe, somewhere wasn’t a mistake. Maybe it was planned. If it was planned, then it happened for a reason. If it happened for a reason, then it has a purpose. Dirt may be ugly, but it’s there for a purpose. Often it is the result of our own mistake. Sometimes it’s just a part of unforeseen and uncontrollable events.

But more often we are allowed to face circumstances that will cause us to grow and be stretched, resulting in a stronger and more disciplined individual. We become aware of the people in life who support us and how superficial love will never satisfy. It may take time, even a season, but growth begins long before it reaches the surface, becoming visible to the eye.

Our past only limits us as much as we want it to because the key is not what the past contains but what is done with the lessons learned. May isn’t just another month to continue in the same day-to-day routine, allowing dead distractions to keep us from cultivating a new season in life. There’s a new day for everything, dirt and all.

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