The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Life!

February 9, 2013

We have to be willing to let go to grow

Keeping The Faith column

 

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Sept. 18, 2002. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.

When I was in about the third grade, I had a white dress covered with lilac prints and trimmed at the collar and cap sleeves with lilac piping.

Something wonderful happened every time I wore that dress. I was beautiful. I could do anything. I was smarter, more talented and I could walk on air.

Because of my mother’s ridiculous law that I had to wear clean clothes every day, I got only one chance a week to wear my favorite dress. I always looked forward to the day and wore that simple little cotton frock with a great deal of pomp and pride.

At the end of the school year, I went to Huntington for a week to spend some time with my great-aunt.

When I returned and was getting ready for Sunday school, I was eager to wear my special dress. It had this wonderful lilac jacket that made it dressier for special occasions such as church.

To my utter dismay, the dress would not button, and it was way shorter than it had been when I had worn it two weeks before. After accusing Mom of shrinking it and finally having her convince me I had grown out of the dress, it hung in my closet for weeks, because I couldn’t bring myself to have it packed away.

I still have it.

This week, that simple garment reminded me of an important truth about life. As we grow spiritually, we have to be willing to let go of things that don’t fit any more.

The bitterness we once cherished in a dark corner of our heart doesn’t seem to have a place anymore.

The grudge that once gave us so much pleasure leaves a tight, uncomfortable feeling in our chest.

The lying that came so easily doesn’t meet our new standards of integrity.

The lust for gossip that used to make us feel important or always “in-the-know” now leaves us feeling cheap and degraded.

If you’re like I am, letting go of some of those things can be as tough a putting aside some tangible thing we treasure.

I’ve learned, however, that those kinds of things take up space that could be put to far better use.

Psychologists tell us we can’t give up a bad habit unless we are willing to replace it with a new behavior. I believe it.

Just wanting to let go of something negative or spiritually unhealthy isn’t enough. We have to find a way to let one go and take hold of something better.

If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight. Wanting to weigh less won’t change the numbers on the scales. We have to find a motivation stronger than our desire to overeat and under-exercise.

If we want to grow spiritually, we have to apply the same principle. We have to choose a new trait to replace the old one and begin consciously doing so, until the new behavior “fits.”

Now that I’m well into my midlife crisis, I think I may be discovering the secret of growing old gracefully. Maybe it’s the process of growing in grace.

And there’s a funny thing about that garment of grace — the more I wear it, the better it looks. And the more I grow, the better it fits.

1
Text Only
Life!
  • life dr Wellness Wednesday: Adding an ‘I’ to TEAM

    Erica Tuckwiller is pediatrician with a deep-seated passion for changing the course of the childhood obesity epidemic.

    “As a physician, good nutrition is one of the biggest challenges I face in the care of our children and I actually have been involved in the fight against childhood obesity beginning with my senior thesis early in my college career at WVU,” she stated.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.

     

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.

     

    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014