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Friday, June 11, 2010

Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

"Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here.
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers.
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two trees are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you."
--David Wagoner

Lately, life has given me a lot of things to do: Raise a son, grieve a long lost marriage; rise from the ashes and find a new life and reacquaint myself with the real me; grow a business; set the foundation for new financial opportunities so that I may take care of myself and my family.

All of this juggling sometimes has me forgetting to look in the forest of my soul and see what is
really there. What is beyond the trees? What is driving me? Is it a good thing or a bad, or neither? Is it rooted in fear or infallibility? Is it purpose driven, or driven by something (or someone) else?

Recently, I realized that in periods of crisis in my life, I tend to throw myself into as much as I can in order to reassure myself that I will be OK. I joked with this last week with my therapist that I don't know when to stop: why is it not OK for me to be proud of what I've done so far? Why do I feel like it isn't enough? I look at the accomplishments I've been able to make in this very difficult period of my life and I am so proud--but why isn't it enough!?

He explained what I already knew: that anxiety in times of crisis makes us feel like we have to put our energies towards things that on the surface relieve our anxiety. But as we look deeper, do they really make us feel any better, or are we spinning our wheels? Perhaps the distraction makes us feel at ease, makes us feel less anxious.

Rather than give into this anxiety-driven behavior, I decided to take a new revolutionary approach: I am telling myself that I am doing everything I can do at this very moment, and to do more does nothing more. In other words, Less is More. In other words, Carrie: CHILL OUT!

Just saying it actually took some of the pressure off of myself, the pressure I have put squarely on my own shoulders. The pressure that can sometimes feel like shackles around my soul.

I am looking into the forest of my soul--deep into the forest, and focusing on the beautiful things that are living there: I am healthy, like a vibrant green moss that has taken root on an old growth tree. I have a beautiful, happy son, who gives me joy like rays of sunshine streaming through the forest darkness. I have amazing friends and family, who wrap me with love and warmth like the thick blanket of the forest floor. I am strong and sturdy, much like an old tree that stands quietly in the landscape.

I am here, in the quiet stillness of the dark and light, old growth and new, the summer winds blowing gently through my limbs and shaking me to the roots.

I am born again.

I am alive.

I am here.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. It got me thinking. Rebirth is a good thing. :)

    You're doing such a wonderful job and everyone is so proud of you. I know you will succeed at 'chilling out' and help relieve the stress you've been feeling.

    Hope you and your son are doing well. I've missed seeing you on Twitter, FB, etc. Hugs to you!