You know those long-lost friends from your childhood or youth? After 30 years, I found one, or should I say, she found me!
I was as gleeful as a kid, until that is, at the end of a wonderful email, she wrote “I will be glad to hear details of your life.” My stomach sank! My misfortunes, I thought, are incomparable to her life accomplishments.
Just minutes after this un-welcomed thought entered my mind, the following email from Ram Dass, plopped in my inbox.
… you go out in to the woods, into the forest and you look at trees and you appreciate trees. You don’t say that tree is good and that tree is bad because one tree is fat and one is thin and one is tall and one is short and that one is bent and one is straight (unless you’re in the lumber business!) For the most part, you just look at the trees and you appreciate them the way they are. They are what they are. And you can appreciate them.
But the moment you get near humans – it’s interesting that you immediately go into a judging mode. You come in to ‘better’ and ‘worse’. And you do that out of your own insecurity. You do that out of your own need constantly to be reassuring yourself. So you’re saying, that person has more hair than I do, or you find dimensions constantly judging, and equating, “am I as good as, am I equal to, am I as good a mother, am I as beautiful a woman, am I as effective at this, a worker,” whatever it is, whatever dimension, and you get caught, constantly living in a judging realm. And if you start to practice seeing people as trees, in the sense of just appreciating what they are, including yourself, you’re just starting to appreciate yourself.
These words compel me to appreciate what my life experience has called me to be, for I am like a tree, whose amazing value can be compared to no other tree. I needed this message. What about you?