Shedding your bark
“Like a tree, our growth depends upon our ability to soften, loosen, and shed defenses we no longer need.” Daily OM
This quote popped into my inbox from Daily OM a few weeks ago, and it resonated so strongly.
The post went on as follows “ Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defences to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don't allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can't expand to our full potential.”
How very true this is. Every defence, every symptom we have, was in the moment of creation, a solution to a problem we were then experiencing. They tell the story of a time past, when they were the best, perhaps the only, option available to us.
We can become imprisoned in our own defences, they can even come to feel like persecuting forces that keep us from the very experiences we most yearn for.
And yet, we need our boundaries and healthy defences to keep our vulnerabilities safe as we heal and grow. They are not bad or wrong, it is just not that simple.
At our best, we are in a constant state of flux, like a tree each year growing and then shedding its bark, we expand and contract rhythmically, dancing with our own energies as we unfold and become.