Gather 'round... it's story time!
"Once upon a time in a place that could have been any place, in a time that could have been any time, there was a beautiful garden with apple and orange trees, beautiful roses, all happy and satisfied. Everything was happiness in the garden, except for a tree that was terribly sad. The poor tree had a problem: It didn't know who it was!
"What you lack is concentration," the apple tree would tell it. "If you really tried, you could have delicious apples. See how easy it is." "Don't listen to him," the rose bush would plead. "It's easier to have roses, and look how beautiful we are!" The desperate tree would try everything that they suggested, but since he couldn't be like the rest, every time he would feel more and more frustrated.
One day an owl arrived at the garden, the wisest of all the birds, and at seeing the desperation of the tree exclaimed, "Don't worry. Your problem is not that serious. It's the same as that of many humans on earth! I will give you the solution: Don't dedicate your life to being what others want you to be. Be yourself. Know yourself, and to do that, listen to your inner voice." And having said that, the owl disappeared.
"My inner voice? Be myself? Know myself? the desperate tree would ask himself, when suddenly he understood. Closing his ears, he opened his heart and finally heard his inner voice telling him, "You will never give apples because you are not an apple tree, and you will not bloom every spring because you are not a rose bush. You are a redwood, and your destiny is to grow tall and majestic. You are here to give shelter to the birds, shade to the travelers, beauty to the countryside! You have a mission! Go for it!" And the tree felt strong and sure of itself and it set itself out to be all that it was meant to be. In this way, it quickly filled its space and was admired and respected by everyone. Only then was the garden completely happy.
As I look around I ask myself, "How many are redwoods that don't allow themselves to grow? How many are rose bushes that for fear only give thorns? How many orange trees are there that don't know how to bloom?" In life we all have a destiny to fulfill, a space to fill up. Let's not let anyone or anything prevent us from knowing and sharing the marvelous essence of our being."
--excerpt from 'The Easiest Way' by Mabel Katz
I read the above story this morning after my meditation and felt compelled to share it here on CN. I hope it resonated with you as much as it did with me!
When I stopped trying to live up to other's expectations of me (even Momma and Daddy's), and instead got quiet and turned inward (where all the answers have always been), my life began unfolding in miraculous ways. I found that my biggest 'weakness', my sensitive nature, was actually one of my greatest strengths. What you are is always, already perfection, it's just thoughts (and people) that tell you otherwise.
So how do you 'get quiet and turn inward'? First realize that nobody's got the answers, Sway. Not even you. Next, set aside some time to meditate.