Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Source of the Current Pain

I was talking to a friend today who was very upset about a tree that lives outside her condominium. The grounds maintenance people came and seriously cut back the tree in a fairly disfiguring manner. It was very upsetting to my friend, because she had planted this tree many years ago.

She admitted that it shouldn't have been planted where it is, because it is a type of tree that will grow far too large for the space it has.

We ended up having an interesting discussion about it.

Ultimately, although she didn't know when she planted, she had 'set up' the current day situation. The tree can't rub up against the building because it will cause damage, yet the tree is getting quite large, and is simply growing in it's natural pattern. She planted the tree, without understanding exactly what type of tree she had, or what it would need to thrive and live a long life.

This is such a powerful metaphor for life! So often, we begin something without fully understanding what we are getting in to and then are surprised by the results down the road. Sometimes it happens through ignorance, sometimes through lack of due diligence. Other times, it is simply not possible to know all the requirements going in to something.

I'm most interested in the first two conditions: ignorance or lack of due diligence, because these are the two issues we can do something about.

If my friend had researched the type of tree she was purchasing, she might have either chosen a more appropriate tree for that location, or decided not to plant this particular tree in this particular location. It was a live Christmas tree, so she might have been able to give it to someone who had more space for such a tree to grow and thrive.

Now, she's experiencing a lot of pain, as the tree has to be continually cut back, and will eventually need to be cut down. That was certainly never her intention, when she tried to do an environmentally friendly thing by purchasing a live Christmas tree.

To me it illustrates a very basic, yet deep spiritual principle. Often times, the current pain we're experiencing, had it's genesis in our own actions or decisions.

We may have ignored red flags, and allowed ourself to get deeper and deeper into an unhealthy situation. We might have done things repeatedly against our own belief system or values. Perhaps we let the opinions of others pressure us into something we didn't really want to do in the first place. The list could go on and on and on. If we're really honest with ourselves, which isn't always the easiest course of actions, we find that we are at the genesis of much of current pain and struggle.

The great news is that we can use this for our learning and our own growth. We can change the way that we approach our decisions and realize that our actions always have consequences in the outer world. Always.

This isn't about blame or feeling 'guilty.' Far from it. This is about understanding the laws of the universe, and using that knowledge to our advantage! To facilitate our learning, growth and improving our lives in powerful and amazing ways!

Before you plant something in your life, consider it carefully!