There was a cartoon showing a tomato stalk with several tomatoes growing on it, at various stages of development. One tomato got large and ripe. The tomato stalk says to the ripe tomato, “We have to let you go.” The title of the cartoon was Layoffs at the Plant.
The profound nature of the cartoon is that the large tomato is ripe to be picked. Of course the plant has to let it go because it has no further purpose on the stalk. If it stays, it will rot and die. If it leaves, it will serve its next purpose.
The cartoon is a fabulous metaphor for why and when we need to be let go from a job, relationship, living situation, or any station of life. Life is not cruelly kicking you out of a place you still need to be. It is moving you on to where you really need to be for your joy and the gifts you can offer. You may think you are being cast aside, unfairly treated, or victimized, but there is a far bigger plan unfolding than meets the eye. You have completed your purpose where you have been, and your journey is about to reveal a new vista. That’s why we have to let you go. The “we” is not your boss or your lover. It is the wise and loving collective Universe.
When it’s time to let something go, the Universe will let you know. If you get laid off or your landlord sells the house or your lover leaves, worry not. There is a reason for the change, and something better is in store. The more energy you spend complaining or resisting the change, the harder your transition will be, and the longer it will take your next good to show up. Define the current change as good and helpful, and your next rewarding position will appear more quickly, easily and naturally. … To think there is only one moment of good for you in your life, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, is to see the universe through incredibly narrow blinders. Life is more like a square dance or a Sufi dance where you enjoy one connection for a while, and then you move on to another great one. … Sure, there are layoffs at the plant. But the plant of life has roots that spread far beyond the stem the eyes can see.
Paraphrased from We Have to Let You Go by Alan Cohen