Have you ever looked at a forest and noticed how perfect it all is?
How all the plants naturally fit together.
Some are big, others are scraggly; some are dead, others are young. Some grow slowly others grow quickly.
Which is what has happened.
None of us can plant a forest as well as a forest can. You never go into a pine forest and think, ah, yes, a cherry would be so much better here.
But here’s the thing. You are a forest too!
We all do.
Our failings and successes all contribute to our canopy and undergrowth.
And all those craggy insecurities we wish would disappear, they’re what makes us us.
This is our magnificent wholeness.
On being someone else
It’s tempting to think our life would be better if we were someone else.
But when you think about it, would you really?
Imagine you had a magic wand.
And with one wave of your magic wand you could change yourself into someone else.
Forever. No going back. You would actually become this person.
Whenever I do this I find myself discovering aspects of myself I really quite like.
Not just because the people we think we might want to be have insecurities and challenges just like the rest of us – and for all we know they could be worse. But to be someone else, you’d have to give up you – not just the people you love, but you.
This little exercise makes the annoying aspects of myself not seem so bad.
Sure I tend to over-think things and get anxious and depressed easily, which is annoying. But then again I like having a brain that can write and draw a sandwich (see above).
I sometimes feel like I can feel what others are feeling, which makes it hard to detach myself. But then again I like that I connect easily with people.
I don’t notice details of my surroundings, but then again I like that I can sometimes see the bigger picture.
Side-note: I was watering a friends plants and it took me four weeks to see there was a third plant sitting next to the other two I’d been watering.
So if I could wave a magic wand I still wouldn’t give me up. If we’re all basically the same, I’d rather muddle along with what I have.
In a forest, some plants die early—maybe they get stomped on by a passing hiker, or maybe their roots were too shallow or the land wasn’t fertile where the seedling landed or maybe they live a long life but eventually weaken and die.
And we don’t judge that as bad. We know it’s part of life.
We grow up expecting to live a certain number of years, though no one has actually promised us this. Some of us die early, others live to be great oaks.
And it’s all OK.
People often say that when we die we’ve lost the battle. But we don’t lose. It’s just our time. And it happens to all of us.
Back to nature
Spend some time looking at nature. Look at the hills in the distance. Or go to a park and just sit. Look up at the trees. Nestle your toes into the grass.
Take time to notice the bug crawling past.
If you’re at home, go outside and sit on your back step.
Pat your dog or cat. Or turtle.
Study the house-plant that despite your best efforts continues to live.
Look at each leaf, and how they come off the stem.
You don’t need to verbalize how amazing everything is, just look at it. It’s no more amazing than you are.
You are in every way a magnificent a part of this.
So are all the people in your life. Everyone is a part of the forest. Seeing our part in this helps us see others with love too.
We are all forests. Coming together to make an even bigger world forest.
PS: If you’d like to say hi or share a story or thoughts about any of this, please do! I’ve love to hear from you. And I know others would too.