I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep. --May Sarton
When running my Recovery Group at work, I not only focus on drug education and relapse prevention techniques, but also try to spend some time focusing on what goes on inside...emotions, feelings, etc. I am a firm believer that if one does not work on self, one will not be gifted with a strong recovery. That's a lesson I learned the hard way...a long, long time ago. So, I try to make it fun by finding little quotes and readings that make one dig deep and think. Yesterday we did the following:
"How can I do what you say," asked the child, "and still be me?"
"Look at me," said the tree. "I bend in the wind, droop in the rain. Yet, I always remain myself, a tree."
"Look at me," said the man. "I can't change."
"Look at me," said the tree. "O change every season from green to brown to green again, from bud to flower to fallen leaf. Yet, I always remain myself, a tree."
"I can't love anymore," said the woman. "With my love, I have given away all that I am."
"Look at me," said the tree. "There are robins in my branches, owls in my trunk, moss and ladybugs living on my bark. They may take what I have, but not what I am."
Whether we know it or not, we are like the tree. Only our pride hangs on to a false sense of self, wanting to keep everything, refusing to follow advice or orders. What we do doesn't matter; how we do it is what counts.
We had some great conversation on this one. In our society, which is full of stereotypes, expectations and conformities, we are often so busy trying to be what other people want us to be that we forget that we are a 'self'. We all want to be liked, accepted. To be different is to be somewhat viewed as an 'outcast' amongst the general population. As a result, many of us find ourselves at a point later our lives where we finally realize that we have wasted many years following a path that was not meant for us . As a result, we end up not knowing who we really are.
I was one of those who really had to learn the hard way how to 'be myself'. Growing up as the child of an alcoholic, more than anything I wanted to fit in with my peers, yet the more I tried, the more I failed. During my 20's well into 40's, actually until my early 50's, I still tried to fit in by doing things that I noticed other people doing and acting in the ways that they did. But, I was never really happy, and that was because somewhere along the line I had lost myself.
In counseling, I began to take a good look at myself and what I really wanted, what I liked and how I felt, and I learned to stop caring about what other people thought and spent more time being myself, and as I became happier with who I saw in the mirror, I discovered that others began liking and respecting me more.