What does the journey feel like?
At this park near your home there’s this magnificent climbing tree with branches radiating all the way up, the kind that, from the top, you can see all over the entire landscape. As a kid, your strong arms and legs carried you quickly and effortlessly up, you could hang out up there for hours before a parent or other adult called you back down. But as you spent more and more time on the ground, you grew increasingly accustomed to it and, at one point, you stopped climbing trees all together. Perhaps it was because your friends had stopped or because at one point you had fallen off without even realizing it.
For some, they will never see a need to reflect on the time they spent climbing trees. But, as you grew older, you find trees showing up in your dreams. At first you are able to forget these dreams, but they become more persistent and you find you must go back to the trees.
Standing at the base of the trunk, you find yourself filled with anticipation, but your arms are not strong and your legs are not limber, your body is no longer flexible and free. Frantically, you circle around and around the tree, desperate to find a low branch to hoist yourself up. But, though you feel brief moments of your body lifting, your feet keep hitting the ground again and again and your body becomes scratched and bruised. You want to scream, punch the tree, lie down on the ground and kick your hands and feet. You want to sink hard into shame and blame yourself for losing your strength and flexibility.
Yet, no amount of kicking and screaming, shaming and blaming will get you to the top of that tree. The only thing you can do is to thank yourself for even being willing to come back to that old climbing tree in the first place, you can thank your body for making so many attempts to hoist yourself up. The only thing that you can do is to commit to daily stretching and strength training knowing that, the more you train, the sooner you will be strong enough to climb. The only thing you can do is to hold a loving image of yourself at the top, knowing that you’ll get there, that in many ways you already are there.