• Caroline Young

A Poem: Staying Grounded in Life’s Storms

Tree Poem for emotional endurance (Audio version).

I write poetry.

If you ever read my blog, you wouldn’t know that, because I never share it. It’s often very personal and a way for me to express my feelings through metaphor and symbols. It’s a very healing practice and I have found myself doing it often since fall of 2017. My poetry is an extension of my inner world and usually for my eyes only, and occasionally one or two people that I fully trust and who really get me.

But I was going through my journal tonight, reading some of the poetry I’ve written over the past few months. I stumbled across one that I thought most humans could relate to, especially if you like the use of metaphor and nature. I wrote it in early spring, but feel compelled to share it now.

Often, I have to remind myself that I can endure hard feelings, negative thoughts and emotions, and discomfort. And so often, I talk to my clients about enduring the spectrum of human emotions, instead of turning to disordered food behaviors and thoughts to distract them or bury the hard shit. My hope is for them to develop the strength and the resilience to trust that they can handle hard feelings and emotions, like the tree in my poem, throughout the ups and downs of life. This applies to all people though, not just those who struggle with food/body and/or addiction. This poem serves as a reminder of our ability to make it through tough times without using destructive or unhealthy coping mechanisms.

So here you are:

Staying Grounded in Life’s Storms – A Tree’s Perspective

I have roots so sturdy that literally no storm or even tornado could destroy them.

My trunk — it’s sturdy, strong and enduring.

My branches — they sway from side to side but rarely break.

When they do break, I let go.

Sometimes, I hang on for too long.

Sometimes, it takes a few storms to release them fully from my core.

They are no longer a part of me and there is a specific reason for that.

My leaves — they are vibrant, rich sunset shades of reds and oranges.

They change constantly in the most mysterious way, recycling themselves again and again.

The vast sky holds all the joy and all the sadness — it’s bright and then dark, all in one day.

The clouds form above and move on effortlessly.

They stay un-intimidating, as long as the sky can hold ample, safe space for them.

When it can’t, the clouds turn black and overwhelm the sky with fear.

If the sky’s darkness persists for too long, my trunk begins to lose connection to its roots.

That’s when it must shift, gather its resources, stand a little taller, and return to its roots,

To dig them deeper into the earth.

Then simply, begin again.

Metaphorical symbols in the poem:

  1. The sky — the mind

  2. The clouds — the thoughts

  3. The leaves — the emotions

  4. The limbs/branches — relationships

  5. The trunk — the body

  6. The roots — the Soul, highest Self

I hope you enjoyed this and resonated with someone!

In true health,

Caroline

#selfcare #mindbodyconnection #spirituality #recovery #poetry #soulconnection #emotions #groundedness

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