What I thought was "the tree starts to fall,"
and I see it never was the tree all.
The leaves get all the glory.
They begin as blossoms of varying shades of pink, purple and white.
They grow and transform to vibrant greens and sometimes reds and purples.
Then even in their dying they steal the show. Reds, yellows, oranges fill those heavy wooden arms before they gracefully fall to the ground.
But I am enamored by the trunk. The strong wooden branches. This is the element that stays true through the harsh, cold winter months.
While it is only a loose comparison, the analogy of the tree is an opening. Aren't we like the tree? The tree creates the leaves, but the leaves are not the tree.
I posted a quote on Facebook yesterday from C.S. Lewis:
"You don't have a soul.
You are a soul.
You have a body."
It earned many "likes" as clever sayings often do. But how many of us truly live our lives from this understanding? The body, like the leaves, is what the world sees. The way we present ourselves is very much tied to the body. However, the body is not who we are at all. And by body, we can include everything from the body: our words, our actions as well as our body of work, our portfolios. These are not WHO we are. They are simply expressions of our Soul. Our Soul - the piece of us that is in direct connection to God. The piece of us that IS God. . .
Now before I go on throwing that word around I should share with you that I will use the terms "God" "The Universe" "The Mother" "Prime Source" and "The One" regularly and I will mean the same thing every time. You say pot-ay-to I say pot-aw-to.
. . . But back to this idea that our body, our life even, is simply a physical manifestation of who we really are. In any given moment who we really are is guiding us as a human to live out a life that represents our highest expression. With that being said, it is our responsibility to learn how to listen to this guidance. One of our challenges however, is that everywhere we turn there is someone or something trying to influence our decisions and actions. Much of it comes off as advice. Much of it is with the best of intentions. Often times it IS helpful. But to learn how to distinguish between what the world says and what our truth is... that is our goal. We care what our parents think of the career we chose. We allow our friend's opinion to sway which color of shoes we buy. We take the promotion because it will earn us more money and notoriety, but will it bring us the joy that comes with living an authentic life? Even when the people in our lives are not intentional in their influence, the effects can be just as contradictory to where our soul is guiding us. And while taking advice from the world may not lead us to immediate harm, the harm that is caused when we turn our backs on God, the voice inside us, is far more damaging.
The idea here is not to suggest that all advice is bad. It is not to shut out your loved ones. The idea here is to ask Yourself: Am I even asking for help from the The One inside me? Because the reality is, You already know the answers to Your questions.
We don’t need to quiet the world, we just need to identify what we are listening to.
Maybe this is why I have always liked Fall the best. Perhaps it is the shedding of that which is temporary that wins me over. This getting down to the foundation. Because in Fall what we see is so easily distinguished. The separation of leaves from the tree. We can appreciate the leaves, but we see they are not what withstand the inevitable changes of season. All the colors and the death remind us that we can start fresh.