Be the Tree

Be the Tree

I was at the park the other day with my daughter.  We were having one of those more emotional than usual days.  The kind where she needed more patience and I had less.  They happen, and they’re HARD….for both parties. I was standing next to the slide looking at the bare trees, and thinking “Game of Thrones is NEVER going to start and Winter is NEVER going to end…” When I really looked at the tree and had one of those AHA moments.  I have been experiencing more of those since committing to a mindfulness and meditation practice (not typically the one where you sit because I have a one year old). In this instance, looking at that tree, I had a realization….

Be the Tree…

Here’s what I mean and why. Go look at a tree, or a picture of one, and you see almost the perfect example of parenting, or what it takes to be in a healthy and positive relationship in general.  Trees are rooted so deep into the earth that their roots grow into actual systems underground.  These strong roots enable them to grow solid trunks and outreaching branches.  Our core values do the same.  Our roots, our beliefs, our values, enable us to stand up as individuals.  They grow and change and strengthen.  They form a system of their own!  Hopefully, with the right nourishment, it’s a strong system, that even when it gets interlocked with someone else’s roots they coexist and thrive both dependently and independently.  What are your roots?  What do you value so much, that it has become YOUR foundation? 

Then there is the trunk. The strong physical presence of the tree.  It’s always unique.  With its own nooks and crannies, its own wear and tear.  It’s supportive.  When you were a child it was what gave you the leg up into the branches.  It wasn’t the MOST fun part of the tree, but it’s sturdy and dependent.  The trunk let’s others lean against it, but it doesn’t break.  It doesn’t change who it is to help someone climb a little higher, it stays true to itself but supportive at the same time. 

Then there are the branches.  They’re flexible, and full of life.  They get blown around in the wind of a storm, but there’s so many of them that even if the tree loses one it’s ok.  Another has the opportunity to grow back, maybe even stronger than before.  It loses its leaves, then grows them back.  It goes through some seasons that are WAY better than others.  But, it’s patient….and grows back again and again and again.  The branches are flexible, patient, and resilient all at once!  They also provide shade and protection and get to BASK in the light of the sun.

And so, in those moments where I feel defeated, impatient, tired, I think “Be the Tree”.  Because it’s ok if one of my branches falls off.  There are plenty of other great ones for my daughter to rest in.  As long as I remember I am rooted in extra LOVE, and solid support.  My branches can blow around every once in a while.  I’m flexible….and human.