Trees are persistent wonders. They make and store their own food for survival throughout all seasons of life. Converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, trees provide our planet with clean air. Trees produce food and serve as homes for living creatures, give shade and cool the earth. Trees withstand rain, wind, heat, snow, and ice. These are only a few of the many aspects that make trees magnificent. But in order for trees to do all of these things, they need a strong root system. The roots grow deep beneath the surface, grasping the earth to provide stability, and taking in nutrients to sustain life. Destroy the roots, destroy the tree.
If you want to start growing yourself, I encourage you to start with a simple step. Look at your roots. Out of sight, beneath the surface, roots are easy to overlook. Roots are silently taking in what is fed to their system. Watered regularly, given proper nutrients, planted in healthy soil, roots will hold firm allowing the tree to grow tall and strong. Get the environment right, you will have a healthy tree. What about you? What environment are you planted in? Are your roots being fed and cared for properly? The right environment is imperative for growth.
It is easy to forget to nurture our roots. It can be complicated to change our environment. Instead, we focus only on making what is visible look better without going right to the source beneath the surface. This may work temporarily, but you cannot grow a healthy, strong, resilient tree with a solid trunk and vast canopy if you don't first nurture your roots.
I was reminded of a poem by Marge Piercy, "A Work of Artifice" this last week by the pictures below. The poem is about how our potential can be limited and the author uses ornamental bonsai trees as a metaphor for ourselves. Bonsai trees can be fun to have because you get to bring nature indoors and they remind us of the beauty of life. The only reason why it is possible to keep these trees indoors is because we limit the growth of their roots and branches. They are pruned carefully to sit in a small container on our desks. The same tree, if allowed to take root in nature would grow over a hundred feet tall. The tiny pot, the pruning, the environment keeps it small.
Does your environment support your growth? If not, what is keeping you small? Remove what is inhibiting your roots and restricting your growth—whether it is relationships, negative voices or your own destructive self-talk. You need to invest time to feed and water your roots both physically and emotionally. Get your environment right first and avoid a perpetual struggle in regards to your own growth. Nurture your roots and grow into an extraordinary, strong, resilient tree that provides food, life, and refuge for others regardless of season. Look at your roots.