Who would we be if we were enough?

At the top of the world in a vast plain of white as far as the eye can see, there are snow ghosts — trees covered with snow and ice that, when the light is low, as it is in winter, resemble odd shaped creatures. This tree phenomena is native to this part of the world, only lasts through the season, and then disappears — like a ghost into the night.

The snow ghosts are hunched over and frozen into shapes not natural for trees in other seasons. The trees underneath however, are made stronger through bearing this burden. Bent into different ways in different years depending on the way the wind blows, the snow falls or the ice forms in combination with the cold weather. They take on a shape and hold it, for months.

When spring comes, they shed their burden and rise toward the sun — maybe broken here or there, maybe bent and gnarled, maybe they have held the burden unscathed. Whatever the outcome, they purposefully occupied space with the whole of their being, not begrudging the burden they had to carry through the winter, and patiently waiting for the spring thaw.

Like the snow ghosts, we as humans are often faced with burdens to carry. Some of us accept it as something that will last forever and shape ourselves to carry it, never recognizing spring. Others wonder why we have been given this burden and do our best to out run it or give it to someone else. Still more are broken by the burden and discarded as such.

All living things have a purpose, like the trees. Yet our purpose is often not communicated in a language we can easily understand. And, to know our purpose with any certainty, it usually takes following a path and bearing the burdens which are ours to bear. Which can be incredibly uncomfortable and leave us oddly shaped or broken.

As humans, we are blessed with the power of complex thought, the ability to observe ourselves and the world around us, and a capability for action different from that of the trees. Yet, I often think even with our infinite capacity for wisdom, the trees are far wiser.

There is a stillness, acceptance and sense of community that the trees have which we have had conditioned out of us. We are culturally driven to produce something, to offer value to the world, often at the expense of others and the world around us.

We have lost sight of the benefit of a forest, trying to grow our own tree instead.

I think our drive to ‘do’ blinds us to the value we bring by simply being who we are. We may not win the game we thought we entered, yet if we are aware, we might notice that we are still moving the ball down the field.

The ability to be oneself means, accepting who we are, faults and all, and doing our best to live into the person we want to become. This is what the snow ghosts do, year after year. And this acceptance makes them stronger.

How would we differently bear the weight of our doubt, worry or fear if we knew eventually the spring would come to thaw out our burden?

How can we learn to trust the rhythm of life with its ebb and flow and realize the burden is an essential part of our growth on the path?

Who would we be if we were enough?

If you want to explore these questions, invite perspective. Our visioning program might just be the next step for you.

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