October 24, 2010

Recovery in Layers: From Onions to the Bark of My Tree....

Today's CTC reading begins,   "The process of recovery in Al-anon has been likened to peeling an onion. We peel away a layer at a time, often shedding a few tears as we do."

I've been comfortable with onions, and tears, but I also like looking at recovery as a growth process.  The author chose a metaphor centered around the bark of a birch tree (I almost wrote "birth" tree just now, interestingly.) 

Many trees are like birches, whose bark peels away as the tree grows.  I remember a Pacific Madrone tree, that I considered to be mine as a child. I can still recall it growing out of its peeling reddish bark each fall. "[Bark] is necessary for protection, yet as the tree grows, the bark peels away gradually of its own accord. If it is removed prematurely--by a deer scraping his antlers or a porcupine searching for food--the tree is wounded and becomes vulnerable to infection, fungus and insects."

As a nature-lover, I am like "wow" at the whole scene depicted in those sentences. 

The words of the reading are so apropos to me that I cannot think of anything different to add or take away:

"Like the birch tree, I can be wounded if I am prematurely stripped of my defenses. Most of us have spent a significant amount of time trying to cope with these wounds from the past rather than growing and changing. But [here] I am encouraged to grow at my own pace. As I do, I find some of my defenses and ideas too tight, too limiting.  And so I slough them off, just as the birch releases its old skin. They are no longer needed."

It is my nature to heal and to grow. Change comes best without my forcing it. Willingness really does work. Help me to realize that "when I am ready, the changes will come easily."

The following is a bit off-topic, but  harkens to my best inner teachers, nature and the woods.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  ~Henry David Thoreau 

1 comment:

  1. I too want "to live deliberately. I find nature is my best teacher; it challenges me to live fully too, and honestly. Too it offers great writing metaphors: sight, scent, sound...


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