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Starting Where You Are

Last week during the bad weather one of the tress at my local park fell down. When I saw it I was struck by how difficult the conditions must have been to topple it after so many years in place and even though it had fallen it was still living and growing. With the right support the tree could continue to be part of the park. It would be changed, but it would still be a tree, still providing homes for wildlife and serving a purpose, albeit from an altered perspective, with a new starting point.

For many of us, unexpected and external forces have been impacting on what we do and how we do it over the past year, but, like the tree, we have not stopped being ourselves. I wonder how many of us have let our inner critic berate us for not continuing to do the things we did 12 months ago, rather than celebrating and the new ways we have found to move forward. We too have been tilted on our axis and continuing to measure ourselves by how things were previously does not acknowledge this change. We have not stopped being ourselves and having value, but maybe we need to redefine where that value comes from and what it looks like.

If we were to measure the fallen trees height from the ground as we did previously we might feel disappointed that it has shrunk, but we would be missing so much of what it can now offer by not acknowledging the fundamental shift in it’s existence when assigning value. We need to change how the tree is evaluated based on how it is now, not how it was in the past, this may include putting some support in place for it, helping to remove broken branches and changing the landscape to ensure the roots are safe. We can support the tree to start again from where it is, we can celebrate its resilience and respond to it with compassion as it gets used to its new situation and redefines itself.

I wonder how our responses to our own difficulties would change if we could find the same compassion and flexibility in thinking for ourselves?

If you were to start where you are, rather than trying to get back to where you are, what would you do differently this week?

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