I have spent the better part of this morning thinking about what it would be like to be a tree. I’m sure this is something most people do, right?
It all started after I read the quote:
Praise and blame,
gain and loss,
pleasure and sorrow
come and go like the wind.
To be happy,
rest like a great tree
in the midst of them all.
~ Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
Praise and blame. Praise feels good. Blame feels bad (in case you hadn’t noticed, says Ms. Obvious). And, like Buddha says, pleasures and sorrows come and go just like the wind. But happiness, happiness is not found in the praise or the pleasures, it is found in our ability to be… to simply be… while these experiences, the good and the bad, come and go all around, in and out, through and around us.
The tree knows this well.
Then I saw this video (below) on blame from Brene Brown. If you are not familiar, she is an increasingly well-known researcher on the topic of shame. Trees, it seems, understand that there isn’t a whole lotta room for blame. You never hear a tree blaming the wind or the lightening for it’s fallen branches. Actually, you never hear trees complaining, “I wish I were as tall as you,” or boasting, “I’m too sexy for my leaves,” either. Okay, yes, I know, trees don’t talk – and they don’t have brains, either, but that doesn’t stop us from learning from them – or hugging them, for that matter.
I’m thinking we could learn a lot from trees.
How would your life be different if you allowed things to flow through you? If you soaked up all the beauty and joy that comes your way, appreciating, feeling grateful. And, what if you allowed the painful events, that bring sadness, hurt, fear or anger, to also flow through – without blaming someone, or something, else for that pain?
It is all, always, temporary. Things do not stay the same. The sun comes out. The rain pours down. We are surprised by a bonus check. The lightening strikes. A rainbow surfaces. We are surprised by a flat tire. A snowflake drops. A cloud floats by. We fall in love. The wind creates a gentle breeze. We get our heart broken. The sky is blue and the clouds are white. It’s always changing.
The tree knows. The tree allows the wind to blow because that’s what wind does. The tree allows the sun to shine, or even burn, because that’s what the sun does. The tree allows the rain to dampen all that it touches, because that’s what rain does. The tree allows the storm to rage through, because that’s what storms do.
Is there something in your life that does what it does, but you wish it didn’t? How would you feel differently if you just allowed it to be who it is, and do what it does?