Remember Your Roots

How often do you run? You may be a physical runner, you may run from your emotions and conflict, you may run from the drama, but we all have tendencies to run away from our issues. I can’t run worth a hoot physically. Emotionally it is another story. I run when things get tense. I withdraw from drama. I’m not a fan of confrontation, and I avoid it as much as possible. I’m aligning myself with people who follow through on what they start. I’m owning my mistakes and allowing myself to grow. Pacing myself and what I choose to tackle can be challenging.  

Roots define our core. At the heart of everything we do, lies our roots. Roots help guide us with difficult choices. We may not see what is inside of us, but they are there. In many ways, these roots are a map to our future. Those roots help us shape who we are and who we choose to be. I am not talking about the roots on our heads. That’s a sensitive subject for many people. I know I’m not ready to get gray hairs yet, and they are forming.   

Some of our drive, determination, and grit stem from our roots. Many of us re-brand ourselves by taking our weaknesses and turning them into strengths. Let’s say that you never seemed to do anything right as a kid, and you manage to morph into a very successful business-person. Are your roots still in you? Yes. It’s a part of who we are. We remember the times that made us stronger or weaker. Those memories are a part of our roots. When we exercise all our muscles, including our brains, we are letting these roots flourish. Have you ever wondered why you are inclined to tell someone to “stuff it up a mountain’s peak before you get a chance to climb?” Some sayings and passages mean a lot to all of us. Some of those we grew up with while others we created. When I get mad, my roots flow out of me with a lot of cynicism, and my friends get tickled. My southern charm dissipates, and then it becomes a lethal biker mentality that spews out of my mouth. Most of the time, I can control my verbiage. But sometimes, my buttons get pushed to the point where when I start hurling comments. You never know what will come out of my mouth.  

Many reasons our roots are integral to our growth are as follows:

1. Returning to our roots allows for understanding. When we learn from our past, we learn from tools to prevent those same problems from repeating.  

2. Returning to our roots accelerates healing.  Admitting our pain is the first step to our health. We have to admit why we hurt to move on. If you are an alcoholic, you can’t address addiction until you admit there is an issue.  

3. Returning to our roots offers reconciliation. Sometimes grudges were formed in our roots that have existed for generations, building up bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and causing a physical or emotional separation from others. If you ever heard of the Hatfields and the McCoy’s you will be able to relate. Many families have held grudges with others. When I married, I married into a family that my family did not like the last name. I think that was an omen.  

4. Returning to our roots provides context. When we return to our roots, we can see why our ancestors did what they did and believed what they believed. It provides a context with which we can better understand attitudes and behaviors. Many people disagree with our ancestors. Slavery is wrong, so is discrimination. But if we don’t learn from what our ancestors did, we will repeat it. The races may change for the majority, but the lessons are still relevant.  

5. Returning to our roots offers longevity.  Roots show us the important things in life. We have to be willing to listen and learn.  

6. Returning to our roots allows learning and growing. People often move to escape their problems and circumstance. The problem is, no matter where you go, the common denominator in each circumstance is you. You can’t escape yourself, so why not learn from your situations and grow?

7. Returning to our roots lets us appreciate the familiar. Whether it’s visiting people or places, returning to our roots lets us relish in the familiar memories of who we were and what we did in a previous time. There is comfort in the familiar. Returning to our roots reminds us of the simple things that mean the most.  

8. Returning to our roots grounds us. There is something important about remembering the things that made you, you. Like the beliefs you were raised with, the traditions that held meaning for you, the character your family instilled in you. They give you a firm foundation on which you can build. Sometimes you may change those foundations, but they are still a part of you. If your family is religious and you are an atheist, there are reasons you don’t agree. You have the right to take the knowledge from your past and find the future that fits you.  

9. Returning to our roots inspires us. Seeing and remembering the accomplishments, the challenges, and the victories of those gone before us can inspire us to continue through the difficulties and fight for what we deem important and valuable.

10. Returning to our roots reminds us of our identity. It’s important to know who we are, who we are, and the characteristics we share with those before us. When doubts and insecurities come (which they will) when we remember who and whose we are, it fuels our strength to stand firm.

11. Returning to our roots helps us heal after loss (whether it be the death of a loved one or even our health). To fully heal, we often need closure for an event. Returning to our roots offers a context for that closure.

12. Returning to our roots provides connection and meaning. Nobody truly wants to live in isolation. It is the people who love us, cheer for us, encourage us, teach us whom we most easily connect with. Life is painful in isolation, but burdens shared are easier to bear, and joys are increased.

My point is this. Acknowledge and embrace your roots. Through our willingness to face our past, we acknowledge our roots and what makes us who we are. If we don’t like ourselves, we can change. Being willing to change shows others, we aren’t afraid to admit when we’re wrong. It also shows how far we’re willing to go to lead by example. I hope you have a great Monday. Use today to discover your roots.  

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