Tree Lessons on Vulnerability


“Life often calls on us to show up with resilience and tenacity beyond what many of us imagined possible.  The more our hearts belong to the larger world around us, the more we may feel the suffering of the Earth and human family. Holding our hearts open and steady in the midst of breaking, we become stronger; we find solace in our shared humanity, clarity in vulnerability, and hope in taking action.” ~Unknown

Most every day I pass by this particular tree in the image above.  It has always struck me as a shining example of the intelligence of trees – to not only live, but thrive, no matter what the circumstances or conditions.

Pausing with this particular tree one day not long ago, the energy and wisdom of the willingness to be vulnerable and explore that path of being shook me to my own “roots”.

Stripped of our defenses and all pervasive structured patterns the space of vulnerability drops us into the essence of our being – the person we have come here to be.  Our roots if you will.

It is as if we are that child in the womb of creation trusting that however we came to be here the way would be shown.  At times the journey requires us to surrender and let go in order to remove the enculturated masks that keep us from seeing clearly.

Even if we were dropped into existence with a less than optimal beginning, the soil was rich enough to nurture our growth.  The direction it took was determined by the very ground upon which we were planted and the deep cellular memory of our ancestors.

In this tree’s case the vulnerability of a downward slanted earth base determined the direction it would grow in order for it not to topple over or be left in the shade by the surrounding community of trees if it grew straight up.

Exploring the smooth curving growth of its trunk towards the light for many years, there was a point where in order to survive it had to change course or fall. Where acknowledging the pulsing energetic intelligence within the core of it’s being meant an end to the path thus far taken.

Some offshoots did not survive the experiment of reaching the source of longevity – the sun – but there were several branches that did indeed find their way, moving out of the space of vulnerability with renewed clarity. Energetically moving towards the Source of continued existence and renewal.

The rich gifts of the energetic space of vulnerability can teach us what we need to be aware of during this time in our history.  As a planet and as individuals we are in a great state of vulnerability.  Unused to being there for so many of us, the fear, suffering, struggle and anxiety are rampant.

What if, like this tree, we go with willingness and curiosity surrendering into this necessary stage in order to find our way – knowing that we are co-joined by many others. A way marked with the undeniable reality of deep interconnection and being willing to have our hearts broken over and over again.

For within this space of absolute surrender right into our bones comes grounding and devotion.  Devotion to saying yes to shifting the patterns that have brought us to this tipping point in our planetary and personal history.

The resiliency and tenacity to travel in and out of this pregnant state of possibility innately timed with the inhale and exhale of our breath.  The wisdom of the natural world supporting us.

With core trust in the unfolding of life…..and our essential and unique  part in its creation.


Copyright by Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, December 2017





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