There is an odd tree that is growing a forest. Well, the tree thinks they are odd. Other trees of variation surround this odd feeling tree. Tall trunks were running up into the sky, green bushes at the top mimic the voluminous hair of a Greek goddess, and roots that dig more profound than this odd feeling tree wishes they could dig. In this forest, there are so many different kinds of trees that the odd feeling tree feels that they must consistently make sure their imagery is refined, so the other trees think highly of the odd feeling tree.
The odd feeling tree worries about everything the other trees might see, which happens to be the front of the odd feeling tree. The odd feeling tree pays close attention to their front; making sure the leaves are extra green, the bark is an even complexion, the roots look strong and sturdy, and most importantly, the odd feeling tree wants to look attractive all the other trees. For the most part, the odd feeling tree doesn’t mind all this anxiety and chaos of obsessing over their looks. It seems to make it all worth it. Other trees say, “Wow! You look so good!” “Those roots must dig to the rock layer of the earth!”
The odd feeling tree wants to soak in this love, but unfortunately, is too busy with the upkeep of all the looks, opinions, and the like that they don’t have time to take in any love that comes their way. Eventually, the constant pruning, over-analyzation, and self-criticism become overwhelming and painful to the odd feeling tree. Their leaves start to brown, the bark begins to peel, and the roots begin to dry out, for they are tired of working overtime.
“Oh, why is this so hard! Is it too much to ask for to feel good in my skin?” the odd feeling tree asks.
Days continue, and the odd feeling tree feels sad and more peculiar than ever. All the work, all the time invested in pleasing others to feel valid wasn’t working.
“My leaves are hideous! My bark is very unlikeable! I will never be the right tree…” says the odd feeling tree to themself. At that moment, nothing the odd feeling tree tried offered any kind of comfort. It seemed the odd feeling tree had become so good at wanting to be the right person for others; they had not yet learned what they needed to be the right person for themself. Indeed, they were not good at loving themself. And then, from behind, a beautiful tree shouted, “My, oh, my! You look amazing today! I don’t know how you do it!”
Perplexed, the odd feeling tree took their attention away from their front, which they so compulsively had focused on for all this time, and gave their attention to the back of their body. How weird, the odd tree thought. This odd feeling tree had not given much thought to the back of their body. They had just accepted it as it was. All this time, the odd feeling tree felt they were never enough, and only now, they realized, they were more than enough. The odd feeling tree was beautiful as they were. They felt a large epiphany course through their roots.
“I never think about the back of my head as I stand in the middle of this forest. And yet, it just might be the most enjoyable part of my body because I have not criticized it or claimed it wasn’t beautiful.”
The odd feeling tree found that there was no depth to their beauty in the front. It was a valid but false showcase of who they were. No wonder they could not accept the compliments they received before. They could not accept what was not true. Even when the odd tree felt like they were doing something for themselves, they were invalidating who they were and amplifying who they were not.
The tree still feels odd sometimes; however, the tree also knows there is wisdom and a purpose to the journey of feeling beautiful and enough just because. No reasoning, no argument, no comparison needed -- just simply perfect the way they are. Like the back of their body, untouched by critique and more beautiful than they could believe.
You are enough.