There are many trees that completely shed their bark in the Spring. It almost looks painful with the slivers and large pieces of bark curling and cracking in all directions. It is obvious that the bark is in the process of completely separating from the tree and dying. On the flip side, it also looks refreshing since the new wood underneath is smooth, shiny and unblemished by the elements of weather.
When we are born, we are like the new, fresh wood of Spring, unblemished by harmful, self-destructive habits, dysfunctional behaviors or a bad attitudes. As the years pass, we make mistakes, hang on to poor attitudes and are caught up in habits that pull us down paths we eventually discover have led us to unhappiness.
Unlike the tree, we do not have to wait for the Spring to shed our old bark laden with self-destructive habits, behaviors and attitudes. At any given moment we can choose to peel off the bark, let it die and start anew with fresh change.
Often there is security in hanging onto the old bark. Behaviors are deeply ingrained in our psyche with subconscious motivators, but they still can be shed. Repeating an action creates a habit and self-destructive habits are very hard to peel away. Self-image and self-esteem really go hand in hand. It doesn’t take much before we can find ourselves spiraling down a lonely path of self-loathing.
It is never too late to change and become a better person. Becoming unfettered by the habits that hold us captive or the attitudes that limit our progress is often a long process, but it always begins within us. Some people will look within, see the unhappiness, but choose to remain the same. Part of the reason is a fear that it will get worse instead of better or that it is impossible not to fail at changing. Others will choose to be a slave with their old bark intact because it is comfortable and familiar if not a little exciting and dramatic. I believe my friend, Sophia, fits into this category.
However, in order to progress, we must find the courage and will power to let go and peel. We may have to dig deep within to find strength to overcome all the things in our lives that drag down our spirit, motivation, self-image or positivity. There are self-help books and other people that can also help in this process, not to mention fervent prayer of which I believe strongly.
I encourage you to identify the old bark today and not procrastinate the day of change. Renewed happiness and fulfillment await you as you shed the bark and allow the new, smooth wood of self-assurance and freedom from subconscious manipulators of happiness.
Change is a wonderful peeling.
even the most longed for,
have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us
is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life
before we can enter another.”