I’ve learned that I can’t get frustrated by the rate at which a tree grows.
I cannot control the amount of sunlight in each day.
I cannot order the skies to rain when my tree needs water.
I cannot curate the perfect temperature each day for optimal growth.
All of the factors of how and when a tree will grow are completely out of my control.
It makes no sense to stare at the ground, stomping my feet and demanding the seed to materialize into a tree before my very eyes, and it surely won’t do any good to yell at the poor little sapling when it’s trying it’s best to grow and I’m constantly telling it how worthless it is because it’s not as developed as I’d like it to be.
If I can understand how asinine it is to become infuriated by a tree growing at it’s own pace, why do I allow myself to do that to my own growth?
When I fall short of my own expectations, I lash out at myself by cutting down my newest branch because it didn’t produce leaves when I expected it to. I cause injury to my progress because I didn’t grow at the rate I wanted to, and I refuse to see the beauty in taking more time due to a new path discovered.
Examples of how this affects my life are endless.
For instance, I completely stopped posting to this blog that gave me so much joy because I hit some bumps in my life and lost sight of my writing goals.
Instead of acknowledging the setback and reminding myself of the exhiliration I felt when I posted and getting back into it, I percieved my lapse in my goals as failure, and abandoned it completely.
When I started losing so much weight in the beginning of the year and I stopped working out, I vowed to hit the gym ten times as hard once I moved to Arizona. My move stirred up interal turmoil which was then projected on the relationships I have with the people I love most. As a result, I was in a near-constant state of debilatating anxiety, causing me to lose even more weight and beccome the weakest I’ve ever been.
I was ashamed of myself for not meeting my health goals, and ended up spending nearly $200 on a gym membership that I never utilized as a form of self-punishment.
While most of my self destructive actions were miniscule things like not even showering because I didn’t wake up when I wanted to in the morning, these constant micro-abuses sent me into a cycle where I began setting goals I knew I wouldn’t be able to meet because it justified why I was feeling so lousy about myself.
In 2017, I had many goals that I wanted to achieve, and I didn’t come close to checking them all off of my list. But I did have unexpected, unplanned achievements that popped up along the way, and that counts for something.
I learned that while I may not be able to control the rate at which a tree grows, I can plant the tree in a spot with fertile soil where I think it will get the appropriate amount of sunlight. I can stake the tree to give it stability. I can water the tree myself if the sky decides not to rain, and most importantly, I can take pride in the growth, no matter how long it takes, or how small it may seem in the moment.