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God, Trees and My Personal Growth

Updated on June 30, 2011

Self reflection with God

I found this picture posted in various places on the Internet. Each person posting it, claiming credit. I truly don't know if I will ever be able to find the true photographer of this image but I love it and I thank them for allowing so many of us its use. I have often related my struggles, strengths and journeys to the trees I have hugged in my life. They inspire me with a feeling of comfort and power. I would like to think in my life's journey that I will one day lay at the base of a tree and become one with the ground. I often talk to God when among the trees in a forest of my choosing. This post is one of those times.

I am having a battle with myself...

The child within and the logical adult.

The child cries out,

holding on to the pain.

The adult rationalizes

and chastises the child.

Neither are winning right now.

I haven't heard from God lately. God has always been with me. I felt his presence as a young child. His hand on my head when I was troubled as a teen. I saw his image before me as I grew into womanhood and questioned my contributions to society. I see him in everything before me. Lately however, I haven't heard his voice. I think that maybe he is confused about the path that I am trying decide upon too. I have three paths from which to choose from. The path to my left is the predictable path. The logical path, if you would. Things follow a structure, a pattern and there is great stability offered if I choose to travel this path. The path to my right is quite tumultuous. It is the path that I seem to take most often in my life. The path before me is the unknown path. It could be littered with items from both the path to my left and to my right and it could also be unpaved, waiting for me to put down some type of substrate of my own. I keep asking God which path would be best to travel upon? I don't hear an answer. Perhaps he doesn't know himself. Perhaps, because he gave me the gift of free choice, he needs me to make the decision on my own. I'm afraid. I don't like feeling alone. I see God and I know he is there. He is just silent. Kind of like a parent anticipating the first solitary step of their wee one. If they speak, then surely the babe will fall. So they watch with silent excitement. Is that what you are doing now God? Watching? Waiting? I've received signs from God throughout my entire life. I've directed myself accordingly. Now, I am on my own and unclear as to which path I should take. It seems logical to me that the path in front of me is the only path that I can take. Which path would you take? Which one is less hurtful? Which one less stressful? I need to take the middle path because I will be creating it. Even though memories and events will line this path, I need to use those as signs that guide me to make better decisions for myself. The unknown is a scary thing. What ever path you choose in your life needs to be walked upon with caution. I am hoping that by taking the middle path, I can grow without reservation. I can create without feeling blocked. I can love without boundaries. Wish me luck.

I keep trying to figure out the key. The key to living a full and happy life. At least there will always be trees! I know it seems silly to compare oneself to a tree, however, trees withstand some of the worst situations offered to them, yet they continue to grow. Rain, sleet, snow and winds try to weather and wear down a tree. Yet, each spring, they continue to shoot forward buds. They provide us with a comforting blanket of shade in the summer. They give a brilliant performance each fall and take a well needed rest each winter. The lessons of the trees can be divided into different categories.

Harmony with oneself would be what I consider to be the first category. A tree appears spiritual as it sways in the breeze. Even if it has appendages that appear to be dead or damaged, it doesn't allow those imperfections to impede it's magnificence. It is in a type of spiritual harmony with itself. It shoots up toward the heavens and touches the sky. We need to recognize our own spiritual needs. Do you believe in God? Are you religious? Spiritual? If so, it is important that people you bring into your life are accepting of this personal harmony you have. Someone that doesn't share your religious convictions may sway you away from what you need spiritually and in the end, you will find you feel incomplete in the relationship. A tree is not afraid to stand alone. Nor, is it threatened to be part of a forest. You and I need to feel this way as well.

Trees cannot speak with words but they speak volumes. Listen to a tree the next time you are alone. You will hear motion, energy and life. Creaking, crackling, leaves shivering... words cannot duplicate the sounds you hear from a tree. Like trees, it is important that the people in our lives be willing to share their energy and life with you. When you are truly enmeshed with someone in a relationship, words need not be spoken. You can hear what the person is saying through their body movements, the look in their eyes and the way that they touch. This leads to intimacy. Physical intimacy need not only be sexual. The best kind of intimacy is the type where all of your senses are being used. Your eyes tell your story. Your ears hear the love. Your touch connects you physically. Your mouth projects words, kisses or sounds that connect you to your partner. Your sense of smell inspires your brain to cement in the pheromones from your partner that make you feel safe with them.

Trees are very goal oriented. Their purpose is to grow. Bigger. Fuller. Taller. We all have different levels of ambition that set our goals for us. The amount of energy that we put into reaching our goals varies as well. It is important that we seek out people with similar interests and energy levels. If you are a goal driven individual and you match up with someone that feels getting out of their chair to manually change the channel on the television is a huge task, chances are you will tire of this person quickly.

Trees can provide us with many examples from which we can base our life on. I realize that for some, it may be a silly comparison. I have always used cues from nature to base my thought processes on. I try to learn from the common creatures put on this Earth by God. They all exist in a symbiotic ecosystem. Humans do not. I believe that we have quite a bit to learn from nature. The fact that we have free will and brains should only exemplify our ability to co-exist with each other.

A Promise to Myself

The smells of my surroundings often evoke memories....

mostly pleasant

and the yearning to be close to those I love

becomes as important as nourishment itself.

I glance at the snow covered ground before me in winter

and wonder who has placed the path I walk upon

as I tread with caution, fearing I will once again slip and fall

injuring not only my earthly body.

As I look to the sky

dark...dotted with sparkling diamonds,

I pray for peace within myself

and a greater understanding of the puzzle I call life.

I will make a promise to myself today;

to harbor the child inside

that feels insecure and unsafe.

I will no longer push her out...feeling vulnerable and scared

expecting her to accept a "fate" pushed upon her by others.

I have never protected her...

just expected her to move on

and accept all that has been dealt ...

"play the cards right and win".

Can it be that the true secret to happiness

begins within one's own heart?

How then, does one proceed

when you have lived your life through the happiness of others?

A promise to myself

to look into the lights...

cover myself with the white blanket from heaven...

open my eyes and see God's loving face

and move forward with the thought

that each kindness I extend...

each word that is released from my lips...

each forced action I partake in...

will somehow nourish the child within;

so that one day she will grow into a woman

that can see through people so shallow and hateful.

The ability to walk right through

the fog and the haze

keeping focus on intrinsic pleasantries

will allow me to find

the woman I truly am.

I promise.

I know that my own fate is directed by my decisions. My positive energy will channel more positive results. Sitting in my pity pool, I will only bring negative vibes my way. I do depend on God for strength. I have become a non-church going parishioner. When I look, I see God. I see him in the sunrise; I see his gentle eyes and appreciate his artistic talents. In the clouds, I see shapes and forms that tell the story of my life. Some with rosy linings and some backed by dark storm clouds. In the flowers, as I watch the bees scurry from one petal to another; I see my own life....year by year and the choices I have made. Just as the bee chooses it's next landing pad, I have made choices too, some of which that have not provided me with the sweet nectar I had hoped to find. I see God's goodness in the faces of children and I hear it in their laughter. Nothing is as calming to my soul as the genuine laugh of a child, that comes from deep within their lower torso and fills the air surrounding them. I see God in the animals. In the trees. Mostly, the trees.....

God's strength is embodied within a tree.

The roots reach down,

able to wriggle through impediments that attempt to stop his growth.

He continues to plunder through

until he is firmly planted

within the soul of the ground.

Like the Earth, we hold God within.

Temptations and outside forces

attempt to break the bond he has formed with us.

His roots are strong.

They not only support us,

they contain us

so that we will not run.

We choose to stay, even if the food we expect to receive seems depleted for a while.

For we know that it will return

if we only have faith.

God always provides.

God is the trunk of the tree.

He was one with the trunk when his Earthly self died.

It supported him and served as his open grave.

The trunk holds the beauty

within and outside

for all to admire and see.

God is the branch; divided into many sections...

Each section a facet of our life.

Choices are made.

Some branches die off,

while others continue to bloom and flourish.

God is the bark.

He covers our back.

With faith, we have courage to face our demons.

God is the fruit of the tree; whether leafy or edible.

When we taste of the goodness life has to bring

we will encapsulate the meaning of food for the soul.

If we don't tend to the harvest,

it wilts and shrinks away.

The fruit is sometimes difficult to reach

but it's not impossible.

Don't stop eating from the tree out of convenience.

We need it's food. Our sustaining life depends on it.

God is the nut that falls from the tree.

Encased in a shell, hiding delicacies inside.

Isn't life like that?

Work. Labor. Striving for that delicious treasure.

Keep gathering nuts and keep working to open them.

It is our quest in life.

God is the shade.

Providing comfort from the heat.

Sending cool, calming breezes,

to help clear our minds and our souls.

God is the sap.

The sweetness we lap up.

In order to receive it however,

we need to tap into our own souls

and spigot out toxins that keep holding us back.

God is a tree.

A wonderful entity.

Whole. Beautiful. Good.

My life.


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