We can learn a lot about our emotional and mental health by observing nature; trees, in particular.
We are about to enter the fall season, in which the trees will change color, shed their leaves, and move toward their winter state. They change in their own time and at their own pace. The color of the leaves of some trees change more quickly and some more slowly. The leaves of some trees fall sooner than others and others fall more slowly. Each tree has its own pace for change.
The change of the trees leads to growth.
Without the falling of leaves and their death through the winter months, there is not room for the new growth in the spring. There would be no leaves to provide oxygen, shade, and protection for the rest of the year. Trees seem to understand this (or maybe they don’t have a choice). Regardless, trees don’t spend the winter months looking back and missing their fallen leaves. Perhaps there is healthy grief that gives the trees the confidence to find purpose and meaning in losing its leaves, preparing for new ones. Or is that too sappy? (See what I did there?)
Even so, there remains a quiet confidence that new leaves will grow in the spring. There seems to be a empowered understanding that it is all part of the growth process.
The yearly changing and moving in and out of season for trees is NATUR(E)AL. So why do we fear it in our own lives?
What if we treated our own emotional and mental health the same way? What if we treated it as a NATUR(E)AL part of normal growth in our life? Why do we avoid moving into newness and change, especially if it will bring new growth? Yes, it can be sad or painful moving and transforming through each phase. However, what might it be like harnessing the same empowered understanding and confidence? What if we embraced the fact that each season will last as long as needs to in order to create new growth in us in future seasons?
Do you want to be the same person you were ten years ago? Even a year ago? Most of us want to become a better version of ourselves each day. We want to be the best version of ourselves. To do so, the process requires death to certain aspects of our life to allow space for new growth. This kind of process can produce grief and pain, but with understanding and confidence that growth comes from death, we might move through it more smoothly.
Let’s try to embrace it and see what happens.