The Forest and the Trees


Have you always understood what it means to say “can’t see the forest for the trees”?  It eluded me for ages and then one day – an aha moment worthy of Oprah.   It means of course that you can’t see the big picture because the small one – the snapshot of your present experience – is taking up all your vision.  Because it’s uncomfortable.

So a person can have had a whopping crisis in their lives, and come face to intolerable face with the truth of how disempowered they actually are; their life splattered all over the place.  It’s so terrifying and alarming and difficult to deal with that they can’t see that the crisis is part of a bigger picture.

Which may actually be about having taken a big leap towards empowerment.  Because crises wake you up to your truth.  And once you see it you can deal with it.   Once you’ve done that effectively you don’t go back, you move forwards to a life of better quality.   If you keep going back, you haven’t dealt effectively.  Well, that’s what I believe, anyway.

However, dealing with it gets you stuck with snapshot tree vision often, as well, let me tell you.  Dealing with your nasty situation can take up all your focus and energy.  It can be frustrating, maddening, scary, you name it.   Pretty much the only way to see if what’s happening is part of a bigger, better picture is to stop sometimes and look back.

Then you can see.  OMG look at the difference!   I thought I was safe and in control before the crisis, but I wasn’t.   I let people walk all over me, I never stood up for myself, I was inarticulate, didn’t understand anything about life or people, I was a slave to my mother’s will, blind to what I was doing to myself.   Emotionally disabled.   And so on.  Essentially you see what your foundation used to be.

You also see how the snapshot is still about wrestling with “not enough”, but the bigger picture is about having put your heart and soul into rebuilding a foundation that is strong enough to sustain what you’ve always dreamed of doing with your life.  It’s so exciting to get that panoramic view of your life and it somehow gives you courage to gird your loins for the next round of dealing with your demons.  Bring them on baby!   It fills up your hope and faith buckets.

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