WIT & WISDOM: The courage to ‘simply be’

I talked about trees last week and I find myself still in awe of the fact that 20 years ago when I was in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem I might well have brushed against an olive tree that has been standing there since the time of Christ, writes Adam Harbinson.

Staying with the subject of trees, the Douglas Fir is of interest.

They prefer to grow in tight communities, offering mutual support by entwining their roots around each others.

And they feed each other too, for if one tree lacks one of the main nutrients it needs: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, the others will transfer the necessary nutrient from themselves to the potentially ailing tree.

Adam Harbinson.Adam Harbinson.
Adam Harbinson.

I was reading something the other day about trees written by American author Michelle DeRusha.

When sitting in quiet solitude among the trees in her Nebraska home she concluded that she is a lot like the Mighty Oak that clings fiercely to its leaves in autumn.

She sees the leaves of the oak as a sort of camouflage, unwilling to expose its nakedness, and she adds: “We, too, clutch our camouflage, the person we present to the world, to our own selves, and even to God, unwilling to shed our false selves, to live vulnerably and authentically.”

Is the image we seek to present to family, colleagues, ourselves, maybe even to God, a camouflage?

If so, what or who are we hiding?

And more importantly why?

Are we afraid of being rejected by those whom we love and who love us? Have we convinced ourselves that those who know us, perhaps better than we know ourselves, cannot see through the façade we present to them? Why do we cling with an iron grip to our false self, to the false identity we’ve meticulously crafted over the years?

Like DeRusha, I discovered a long time ago that friends, family and God do not appreciate us standing stubborn like the autumn oak tree, cloaked in a façade of protection, with the beauty of our truest, most authentic selves obscured beneath a tangled bramble of false security.

We might balk at that term; ‘the beauty of our truest selves’, but don’t we all admire those who have no interest in being anything other than themselves?

No desire to impress, nothing to prove? Surely that is the path to inner peace and tranquility, for the one person we must be at ease with, is ourselves.

Let’s develop the courage to simply be.

Read more from Adam at www.adamharbinsonbooks.com

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