This autumn as I think about the golden canvases of foliage I am missing up north, of the crisp air above all the apple orchards and pumpkin patches I have picked from, I feel melancholy. I sense that I am losing my colors like the trees all will. I feel like I am falling, well sort of.

In trying to figure out the reasons that I feel this way, it occurs to me that it’s because I am in a time of letting go. Letting go to make room for what is to come. The fall season is a time of trees shedding their leaves, even though they are beautiful, to get ready for the next season.

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And I wonder if perhaps I can just do what the trees do. Ready or not, right here, right now, Let go. Discard any worry that I don’t really fit in sometimes. Shed any doubt that there is something wrong with me when I am not invited. Drop a recent belief that just because people move on, I never mattered to them.

For today, perhaps I can allow the occasional fears to fall away. Let them drop and trust that it is simply time to lose another layer that is no longer necessary as protection against the elements of my humanness.

I am drawn to thoughts of how autumn comes in so spectacularly and goes out so barren. This magnificent season of letting go leads me to wonder. How do trees allow the transformation so gracefully, from lush and glorious to bare and exposed? They stand, strong and tall, never wavering, as one by one their leaves fall, showing their branches to the world. I wish I could let go like they do. So gracefully.

I suppose I can try. I guess, like all the trees, I can get ready for what comes next. I can believe that it is the right time to allow more to shed. Perhaps there is no need for sadness as things come and go. No reason for self doubt or for fear that the more I expose myself, the less I will be “part of.” Maybe all I need to do is trust a divine process that I can’t see and to remember that the trees, in bloom or not, never move. They stay right where they are among other trees. Sure.

I don’t suppose that as golden shapes fall from its branches, a tree spends time in sadness around what it is losing. I imagine it knows that next year, there will be more and different shades that will grace its limbs. There is no calling out to their dear colors, “No, please don’t go yet. I’m not ready. I haven’t fully processed all I needed to about you yet. And I love you.”

I think they just fall because it is time. They probably need to relax after all their photosynthesizing. Maybe they just want to rest. And as the greens and reds and yellows gather on the ground below, awaiting what comes next for them, there is a knowing up above. A new season is sure to come and with it will be more and different hues to take their place.

What a gift of trusting that nature enjoys. I want to trust like this. To believe in the plan as it unfolds, instead of realizing later that it did so perfectly. I know that if I just stand still and allow the falling off to happen, the release of feelings and people and places, there will be more to reveal itself down the road. Yes, of course there will, because there always is. So today I will ask the universe and all its’ Glory for help in letting go of what I know is wanting to leave, so that my branches can be open to all the lovely colors that will come next.

I will choose to stand tall wherever I am called to today. No matter what. I will wait, arms outstretched, with a sense of readiness and joy. I will know that the next burst of color will reveal itself, just as the glory of autumn leaves always does after summer. In the meantime, I will do my best to stand, unwavering, and trust that all is right and good in my world no matter what the season. And I will remember that bright and full or somber and bare, God is caring for me through all of it.

~ Risk ~ Giving ~ Anyway ~

At the root of every one of your loving intentions (a gift, message, act of kindness) towards another lies a truth. A truth that says “this is what I want to tell you, this is who I am at this moment, this is what I hope to accomplish, this is what you mean to me, this is what I think you need, this is how I hope you will feel when you receive it.” I love you.

And you deliver whatever it is – the statement, the gift, with this intent.

And you are taken aback when the other person misunderstands, reacts, doesn’t “get it.” Disbelief sets in because they didn’t see the love behind your message, your gift your intent. Wounded, suddenly, because what was supposed to be right and good and true somehow went awry. Caught off guard, reeling from disappointment, you have a choice. You can either locker down, draw your weapon, go into an emotional cave based on their response or you can remember the way of Grace by staying open and loving, keeping your original intent at the forefront of your mind, of your spirit.

The latter, this way of Grace requires a willingness that will have to counter any old tapes that want to play for you. It will require putting aside unhealed wounds (you may not even know are still there), messages from others back when, former mis-steps, and any feelings of inadequacy or “less than” or shame that may try to creep in.

This is not an easy task.

In order to do it you will have to know that at the root of every one of your intentions and at the core of your truth, also lies the truth of the other, the receiver. Their truth, with no resemblance to the one you may have been offering, that says “this is what I believe you meant,” “this is what I heard,” “this was what I needed instead,” “I’m not sure who you are at this moment,” and/or “this is how it made me feel.” And all I wanted was to feel loved, but now I don’t.

Two distant truths involving the same interaction, the same exchange of words or gifts or energies that didn’t go as intended. They don’t always meet. Many times the two truths are so far away from one another that there seems no way to get back to any meaning that makes sense. One or both of you become(s) lost, confused, dazed and even frightened. You feel unheard, unvalued, unloved and alone.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there may be two loving people afraid to believe what is happening or terrified not to. Hurt and confused that the gesture one made could have been so terribly misconstrued by the other. Or saddened because the message or the gift or the answer one received did not have the meaning the giver needed it to. And all you both wanted, needed, was to feel and give love.

And then what?

At the moment of your doubt, be willing to believe that within every situation there may lie yet another truth. The one that sits right there in the middle of the other two, but is actually deep in the heart of the universe, ever guiding, ever there to gather you back into a spirit of love and light and willingness. To guide your truth closer to his or to hers.

Know that within every exchange, every conversation, there will be three messages. The one you mean, the one the other person hears and the one that the universe grasps. They are all correct. They are all right. They all have a reason. There is no threat. The Course in Miracles teaches that “Nothing real can be threatened” anyway.

Remember that inside of every heart there are wounds that will make its’ truth different from yours. There are triggers for this heart in the same way there are for yours, based on all the gestures and motives and kindnesses and gifts given or received before and hurts it has perceived correctly or mistakenly forever, that may prevent that heart from feeling, reacting, giving, expressing or receiving exactly the way that you do. Exactly the way you thought you needed it to in a vulnerable moment.

The trick in these exchanges, these moments, is to be willing to let go of the outcome. To be willing to go to compassion. To remember to return to love. To listen without explaining. To sit still in discomfort around being misunderstood, because you remember that you understand. To remember to return to love. To remember what you meant when you gave the gift or made the gesture in the first place, even if they never do. To be brave enough to let the other person tell you what they needed, what they hoped for and what they want in a way that doesn’t diminish what you thought they needed, hoped for or wanted.

To remember to return to love. To hear the words and let them sink in and stay OK. To stand still in your love, your sacred love. The unconditional love you have found for yourself first and then for them. To Hold on and Let go. To keep on taking the risk to give. To return to Love.

With Love.