Look at the shape of this tree!
It heads up from the ground, reaching for the sky just as pretty much all trees do, then suddenly it’s taken and almost ninety degree swerve to the left, but not for long, because then it turns abruptly upwards again, only a little later to take another almost ninety degree turn to the right, after which is takes a much more relaxed ascent, bending slowly upwards.
It caught my eye.
It caught my eye because it was so unusual, so striking, and so unique. None of the other trees around it had shapes or trajectories even remotely like this one.
So what happened? What’s the explanation for the particular shape of this tree’s life?
I realise that’s a question which lay at the basis of my consultation with patients. An individual’s life story has a distinct and unique shape. Are there any explanations for that shape? Which life events made the biggest impact? What kind of impact did they make and, crucially, how did the person respond to those events?
But even without the context of illness, I think life is like this for all of us. We are gaily living in one particular way when, bam! someone happens, there’s a change, an event, and life continues afterwards but in a completely different direction.
What shape is your life story? What changes of direction has it taken and why?
I love how no two life shapes are the same, because no two lives are the same.
And there’s something else to consider when gazing at this tree…..you couldn’t predict it. If you were taken to the forest and shown a seedling, you couldn’t draw the exact shape it will manifest as it grows. DNA analysis isn’t going to give you your answer. Generalising to say most trees of this type will grow this particular way isn’t going to give you an accurate answer.
Every single life is unique, and the shape of every life emerges in the living it.
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