Once a banana tree’s fruit is harvested, the harvester does what he calls, “Killing the Mother.” The harvested fruit plant is “killed” to allow for the growth of the cloned plant that is growing behind it at its roots. This happens every 90 days – the old plant is destroyed to make room for the new.
Maybe that’s important for us to do as well – discarding of the old in order to make room for the new. I’ve read about this in books on removing clutter from your life too. Get rid of some of the old before taking on anything new.
Live your best life. This is a popular mantra right now. And I agree. We should figure out what our purpose is and follow it with passion.
However, I ask this one thing. How can you live your best life without “killing the mother?” Of course, I’m speaking figuratively here. The mother in this statement represents a lot of things such as expectations of others for your life. How can you live YOUR best life if you’re saddled with the weight of others’ expectations for you?
Look, we all know this happens all the time. Your dad wanted you to be a doctor or your mom wanted you to be an accountant or whatever. I’m convinced my mom wanted me to be a minister’s wife. I’m certain I could have been a good minister’s wife, but I diverged from that path in my early 20’s. Having my life mission to be the wife of someone else just didn’t seem to satisfy me. I also questioned religion as a theme of my vocation. I questioned it to its very core and decided to follow a path of spirituality vs. organized religion. This is another huge area of disappointment for my mother. If I wasn’t going to be a minister’s wife, it was assumed I would at least stay in the religious fold.
I carry the weight of these choices in my life. Even though I’m at peace with it and know I’m on the right path, my mother’s disappointment at times is palpable. It doesn’t matter how many other accomplishments I achieve, the disappointment eking from my mother never ebbs. I’ve decided, in the end, that this is a good thing. Wanting my mother’s approval and not really feeling that I had it, made me come to a realization. I can’t seek approval from others. Sure, it is important to be respectful and kind and appreciative of others’ contributions to my life. But in the end, I have to be true to my own path.
In that same vein, I think that changing a name is a great way to make the noted break from familial expectations for a life. Speaking of religion, name changes have been a part of noted biblical life transformations. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Simon became Peter. Popes also change their names when they become pope.
Throwing out the old, making way for the new, for the life you want to live. Not a one-time thing, but a continual process. Sounds like what they’re doing right now out on the banana plantation. You see, each banana plant only produces one set of fruit. Once that’s harvested, a way has to be paved for the new plant growing right behind it. Sounds like a good journey for us all.