of the Tree
Lance D. Smith
Someone asked me the other day what motivates me to write these articles week in week out. Now that I truly appreciate the power of the written word, simply put, I write them with my children in mind. After I am dead and gone, I hope one day when they are older, they will have these words to help strengthen the connection between me and them.
And after exploring this question a little deeper, I must say I write them also because I am saddened by all the pain and suffering I have seen in my life and continue to see. I wish I knew the perfect words, actions, or understanding to make a real difference to others.
Many people are anguished because they have yet to realize who they truly are and were created to be. If each of us did, I am sure we would not inflict so much pain and suffering upon ourselves and each another.
It is in the realm of thinking that creates the emotional pain we toil with. Our struggle is that, we know intuitively deep down our spirit is limitless, but we search limited and temporary places for answers and meaning. This is the human struggle. We simply look in the wrong places to experience who we truly are.
If “you” are successful, then your identity depends greatly on how well you do what you do. If “you” are important, who you are is determined by status or a title. If “you” are a victim, then who you are is defined by what has happened to you in the past. If “you” are a winner, then your identity clings to your last victory while secretly fearing the next defeat may obliterate you. If you are popular, then you are what other’s opinions say. It takes an incredible amount of energy to play just one of these roles.
Each of these examples is very common. Unfortunately, it is how many of us relate to the world. Each of these identities is temporary, beyond control, and subject to change in an instant.
Who you REALLY are, is an awesome presence and awareness that creates these experiences! Nature reveals this essence. A robust apple tree reaches skyward and drops bright red fruit on the ground each spring/summer. It is easy to understand the tree creates the fruit, not the other way around.
Each of us, like the apple tree, gives our fruit to the world in a special and unique way. But the mistake we make is we look to the apples, or our experiences, to tell us who we are. We don’t look inward and fail to notice the powerful presence and essence of life it self, or in this example, the tree.
This misunderstanding is the single most reason for our suffering. We will always come up short when we search outwardly for temporary and fleeting circumstances to try to sustain something that is permanent within us.
you truly are is not like the apples, wilting away on the ground at the mercy of
the environment. You are life, like the magnificent tree; inspired creative
sustainable force that is much greater than the fruit it produces year in year
is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.” Ralph Waldo
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