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What does a tree have to do with my daily practice?

I had a realization this morning. Maybe you’ve heard this, or known this deeply yourself. But it was present for me at a whole new level today.

It’s possible for me to go through life, always growing and becoming more of who I want to be in the world, without ever rejecting myself. It is within the world of possibility that I could live so fully in the awareness of my true divine nature, that I wouldn’t ever consider telling myself that just because I made a mistake, I suck.


If I believe (as I do) that every one of us is made of the stuff that is Life Itself, that one divine essence through all things, then how could I suck? Unless I am saying that Spirit sucks? No. I wouldn’t say this.

I found this entertaining to think about. I started imagining myself receiving feedback, say from my sweetheart that I had done something less-than-kind. Let’s just say I took that as information. I looked at it as if it were a little pebble and I am a scientist, turning it in my hand, studying it. What is there for me to see from this? Would I like to do this differently in the future? What is mine to do here?

I was seeing myself doing all of this without ever jumping to any conclusion about what it means about my essence or being. Noting all of this without even the thought of rejecting myself.

My friend David suggested that this is like standing as a tree. The wind and rain of the feedback of the world, or of my own emotionality, stirring around me. He was reminding me that it IS possible to stand firm. Like an old oak tree, one of my favorite things in the world. They move with the wind, but stay standing firm, roots deep into the ground. I can stand firm in the ground of my true being, with compassion for my human self, doing the best she can. I can be aware that the wind can blow, the rain can shower down, and I stand and take it. I let it roll over and off of me, and take from it what there is for me that serves me. I can stand in the truth that even on my worst of days, I am beautiful, like a tall old oak.

What does a tree have to do with my daily practice? I am striving to be like one.


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