Posted by: Marie | March 7, 2013

(798) Conversation with a pine tree – Part 4 of 5

Post #798
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – continued from previous post]

I sat and soaked in the sense of freedom . . . the sense of possibility . . .

I thought to myself:

Now, I can focus on fulfilling my potential . . . on being all I can be . . . I’ll take this light-heartedness and this sense of possibility and I’ll move forward with my plans . . .

Immediately upon thinking that, I felt a heavy weight start pressing down on my spirit . . .

What the heck? What happened to the light-heartedness? How did I lose it so quickly?

I turned my focus inward . . . I listened for what voices were running around in my brain . . .

You’ll never become who you ought to become because you are rebellious and independent and wild . . . you are embarrassing me . . . no man will want you if you behave like that . . . I’ll disown you if you don’t straighten up and be a daughter I can be proud of . . . only nasty girls behave like that . . .

Oh, yikes . . . that would be my dad’s voice again . . .

No wonder I felt squashed as a kid . . . no wonder I’ve always believed I couldn’t relax and just “be” . . . I have been struggling under the weight of who I “should” be . . .

I took another deep breath . . . I felt my attention being pulled back to the pine tree . . . I watched it sway in the wind . . . I again felt its peace and contentment . . .

I had a sudden epiphany . . .

What I’m trying to “survive” is my human-ness . . . my perfect imperfection.

That would be like this gnarly tree trying to survive its geographical placement, its being “not tall enough”, its bent and twisted shape . . .

Sitting in my car, looking at this tree, it is obvious to me that this tree is exactly everything and all it is supposed to be. There is nothing for it to survive, nothing for it to fix.

In the same way, there is nothing for me to survive. There is nothing for me to get through. There really isn’t a future “me” to which I’m supposed to be aspiring. There is nothing I have to become.

I want to feel like this tree feels . . . I want to stand there in the same stately way and just “be” . . . what would that feel like? As a spiritual being, I don’t think I’m that different from a tree. I’m of the same pool of energy, after all.

I think I would feel content and purposeful because my purpose would be to just be with strength and dignity . . . to just be and not go anywhere and do anything or impress anybody . . . just be.

My ability to just be has nothing to do with who I have been in the past and what has happened to me in the past . . . well, only to the extent that it prevents from being able to connect with who I am at my core.

My ability to just be has nothing to do with the future . . . it has nothing to do with who I could or could not become in the future . . . mainly because there isn’t anything I am supposed to become . . . there is no standard to which I’m supposed to perform.

Maybe the reason my soul is resisting my effort to meet some standard is because there is no standard for me to meet. I don’t need to worry about who I will be in the future. If I’m living well in the moment, then the future will play out as it plays out.

I don’t need to figure out how I’m going to show up in the world in the future . . . I don’t need to figure out the 10 steps I need to follow to get there because there is no “there” . . . there is only “here”. I don’t need to invest in the future . . . that would be a waste of time. It is wisest to invest in the present. It is wisest to invest in who I already am.

Once again, I sat quietly. I allowed this insight to assimilate into the cells of my body. It felt like my spiritual energy had shifted even more and had settled into a stable position.

I looked at the clock . . . it was 9:30am. Wow . . . whew . . .

148)  Title Unknown

Photo by Martin Chen

I decided to use my digital recorder to document all that had happened in the last 90 minutes . . . I wanted to capture my thoughts and feelings in the moment, before the drive back down the mountain could dilute them. My vocal cords were still raw from the screaming, but I wanted to capture my experience on the recorder anyway.

For the next 30 minutes, I spoke into my recorder, recalling all that had happened. As I neared the end of my documentary, I felt some of the self-deprecating thoughts rising to the surface again – thoughts that push me to believe I will always be stuck in the place of hopelessness. I quickly identified them as beliefs passed on to me by my dad. So, I spoke aloud to him:

So, Dad, you’ll just have to keep your opinions to yourself because you were wrong and you did a lot of damage to me . . . you did a lot of damage . . . I know you did the best you could . . . no, I’m not even sure you did the best you could.

I think that you knew, somewhere deep down in your heart, that what you were doing was wrong. You weren’t stupid, Dad. You could have considered and followed other options. Maybe you wouldn’t have followed another option perfectly. Maybe, in the years after raising us kids, if you would have stayed alive, maybe things would have been different . . . . but, I don’t know.

But, I think you should have known. I think you did know that what you were doing was harmful to me and my siblings. And it was easier to numb your own pain by passing it along to us than it was to face it head-on and deal with it.

You passed on that legacy to me. But, it stops here. It stops here . . . because, I am courageous. I am an amazing person. The expression of my human-ness is pretty awesome.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 708


  1. This story is incredibly powerful, Marie. I’m so glad you found your voice…and so glad that you had this experience.

    • Thank you, David. This was a pivotal moment in my healing journey!

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