I’m in love with Shagbark Hickory trees. I see myself in their rough, hanging, falling pieces. Not ready for discard, yet falling nonetheless. Some strips falling and decomposing quickly, surrendering their riches to fertilize the hungry earth. Some bark hanging on longer, still with something to say, remaining vertical and visible until their voices are no longer heard by the forest.
Large long pieces, small, thick pieces stacked neatly, supporting their fellow Shagmates. Strips of wrinkled, worn roughness. Mazes of texture giving way to a newer, smoother, Auburn skin. Underneath. Beautiful colors beneath the Shagbark’s discards. Shaggy rough, scattered, haggard, unfinished, jagged, worn and edgy yet standing tall. Proudly facing the sun. Standing, reaping precipitation benefits. Reaching above it all, into the clarity, in the space we all seek, the space between our breath. Fresh oxygen lives above.
Shagbark gripping the earth below, grounding wide and deep. Solid. Fingers and toes long n scraggly, twisting and turning in the silent light and dark. Seeking, still, layers of life and death intermingling. Nutrients for the taking, earth’s gifts used and returned. Shedding pieces of our story, revealing a less burdened smoother version of ourselves ready for the next season of life.
I can fabricate the scariest circumstances as possible outcomes in my life. And it’s all in my mind.
So why don’t I know this? Why don’t I stop myself before I get on the 3 a.m. terror train? This is something I learned as a young child and perfected as I got older- we are all good at something, right? Lol. In sitting and observing, noticing how I do this to myself today, I realized that although at one time (the scaring) was useful as a motivator to be prepared, organized, have a plan and keep me safe from harm, this is of absolutely no use to me as an adult and actually has me functioning from “fight or flight” response.
None of it EVER transpires anything like the scenario I’ve created! None of it EVER will! Things always work out for the best in the end. Things always work out for me – yet when I’m faced with difficult circumstances …I scare the shit out of myself.
Just watching. Noticing. Remembering that everything always works out, everything. Every time, over n over. But for some reason I need to scare the shit out of Me so I can prepare all the possible scenarios that MIGHT transpire. This is no longer a useful pattern today. I need to lean into this is scary and watch myself be scared and also be a witness to myself preparing and controlling NOTHING. I’ll wait it out and know that everything will be just fine.
STOP scaring the shit out of us!!! preparing for an ancient, silent battle that no longer needs to be fought. You know things always work out. Cut the shit and know we are ok. Sometimes just naming the fear lessons it’s grip on us. Call that fucker out, it’ll be less potent once named and seen. As many times a day as you need to, call on your breath to replace the need to “do”.