This post is going to start off with a fictional children’s story I have written. A story that has major significance in not only my life but in the lives of many. Read to find out why!
There once was a little tree, and this tree lived deep in a beautiful forest. The little tree had hopes and dreams of prospering in life and growing very, very tall. So tall, in fact, that others would see it from far away and admire its beauty. Sadly, the little tree had a lot of trouble growing at all. The reason for that is because it was living in the shadows of much bigger trees.
You see, in order for trees to grow, they need sunlight and water. The bigger trees that surrounded the little tree blocked out much of the sunlight and got to drink most of the water; leaving very little left over for the little tree.
Although the bigger trees may not have meant to take away from the little tree, the little tree felt oppressed by them for most of its early life. Many times it felt so small, inferior, and very frightened. It was too small for anyone to notice its cries for help. In fact, the bigger trees around it never allowed it to get what it needed to grow.
However, over time, things began to change. Many of the bigger trees began to either die out or get cut down by lumberjacks. Some stayed around, but they stretched different ways to get as much sunlight as possible.
As the bigger trees were slowly disappearing, something amazing happened to the little tree. The little tree finally began to grow! Since it was able to get more of the sunlight and water it needed, it grew and it grew.
One day, the little was no longer a little tree. It was now a big tree, and as it once dreamed in its early years, it was finally very tall and beautiful. People who came walking through the forest admired its beauty as it provided shade and a place to sit and rest. The once little tree was now a happy and prosperous big tree. 🙂 The End.
What Was The Point of This Story?
You’re probably wondering why I decided to write a short children’s story for my blog. It’s a first, but hear me out. This story was actually inspired by my own personal experiences with mental illness and recovery.
The little tree was a personification of not just me personally, but of any person who grew up feeling oppressed by others. The big trees were a metaphor for these “oppressors” and other negative influences in life that hurt us or hold us back from a better quality of life. Whether they were school bullies, authority figures, parents, or society in general, these people felt small and unheard early in life. Although many of their oppressors may not have meant to oppress them or even had any awareness of what they were feeling, there are those who suffered all kinds of physical and psychological abuse.
Growing up, I felt oppressed by everyone, and although the majority of those people had no idea what I was feeling because I never talked about it, and many others either genuinely cared from a distance or just didn’t know me well enough personally, there were still those who intentionally inflicted harm on me. I lived my early years being frightened and intimidated by everyone. I hated myself and I resented others for many years until I began to heal and develop a higher understanding, which allowed me to let go and forgive.
The story of the little tree is not one of pity, but rather of personal growth. When the big trees, or the negative influences, were no longer around, the little tree had room to grow because it got what it needed. In other words, when we remove certain negative influences from our lives and give ourselves what we need, whether it’s water and sunlight or wisdom, support, understanding, and other psychological needs, we then have the chance to experience tremendous personal growth beyond what we could ever imagine. I like to say that our problems are like our clothes; as we grow, we outgrow them, and they can no longer contain us.
I think of all the things in life that used to absolutely devastate me and destroy me inside that now barely even phase me. Although I went through a lot of emotional pain in my early years, it was that pain that allowed me to grow so much and become wise and well-rounded at 24 years old. I used to be ashamed of who I was, but now, I take a lot of pride in where I’ve been because it allows me to truly empathize and understand people on a whole different level.
If you relate to this story, please share it with those in need. I want people to know that if they feel small, oppressed, or unheard, that it is possible for them to come out of those shadows, and grow into tall, beautiful, and prosperous trees. 🙂