A Tree Without Leaves Part 1
Note: The title for this post comes from a metaphor which I'm not planning on talking about until the final part in this grouping, but I wanted to the title to be the same for all of these segments.
At the beginning of the year I set a goal for the life pattern I wanted to learn how to weave. I thought:
If we create our own realities, if what we believe influences the types of world we experience, if inner work can lead to outer change... then the reason I have experienced so much suffering in my life is partly because I believed I needed to. I believed that I was nothing and so I saw myself as less than and acted based on things my heart disagreed. I did not believe I was worthy of the dreams of my heart and so I didn't follow them. I thought I had to learn lessons in darkness and pain, so I went into the darkness and pain to learn the lessons, but what if I am done believing that now?
If my life can change based on my beliefs and I can decide what I believe; then I have the power to change my entire life by believing that I am good, that life is joyful, and that growth can occur with ease. I can honor the past suffering and believe that it has taught me many useful things and provided me with strength and compassion which stretch beyond my former capacity.. AND I can believe that I no longer need that pain to move forward. I can move forward in a new way now instead.
If it is true that I have some influence over the things I experience then I make the choice now to experience joy this year-- not superficial pretend happiness-- but true authentic, lasting joy. The kind of joy that bleeds through every situation no matter how challenging or easy the situation is and is excited to be alive even when there is harshness around. I want authentic happiness. This year I want to learn how to be authentically joyful.
In response to my request, the voices said, "The happiness part will flow naturally once you get the authentic part down."
"The authentic part is going to be the hard part isn't it?" I asked.
"It doesn't have to be," They told me, "It will take work, but the work doesn't have to be hard. You'll have to face fears, but you don't have to dwell in anxiety. You won't have any place left to hide, but you won't have to feel ashamed. It's up to you how you experience these changes."
"How will I do it?" I asked, "How will I do the work and face the things I have to face without it being torture?"
"Trust." They told me, "It will take extreme trust, but this is why we started working on trust and grace last year."
"So" I said, in order to clarify, "The way forward is to trust that it is possible for me to move past all these obstacles without the excruciating pain I've faced in the past."
"Yes" they said, "we will get you through it. You will have everything that you need when you need it, and more than enough. When you start to feel doubt remember we promised you-- you will always have all you need and more at the time that you need it."
The year started and there was SO MUCH work to do. All of these old obstacles and unresolved lessons from the past began to crop up. Unhealed wounds came to the surface and restrictive patterns appeared around every corner.
"How am I going to do this?" I asked.
"Trust," they said again, "You will have all you need and more at the time you need it."
When I started to get overwhelmed by the pace of the change they gave me an additional piece of advice; "Make important what is important. Leave the rest alone."
I repeated this mantra often as I sorted through my priorities.
"What does it mean?" I wondered.
Depending on where I was and what I needed at the time the interpretation I got was different.
When I was getting stressed out about grades they said, "Focus on what is important TO YOU. Don't worry about what everyone else considers important."
When I felt like I couldn't keep up with how fast things were moving they told me, "Life is what is important. Focus on being alive and in the present moment."
Yesterday I got a new interpretation.
In fact it was like a whole new world opened up behind the words. Trying to write down all the things that they showed me and talked about took a long time which is why this is going to be a multi-post topic.
I'm going to do my best to get at least one post a day up until I finish exploring this topic, the final post will include the tree without its leaves metaphor. This is just the introduction.
Thank you for reading.