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Bending with the Winds of Life

March 18, 2017


“Remember, stress is what makes a tree strong enough to sustain the wear and tear that it will face later in life.” Anupum Pant

Ever watch a tree bend in the wind? As you watch, you might wonder if the tree will snap and break. But just the opposite is true.

Trees need the wind to sufficiently stress them to deepen their roots. In that way, they can grow tall and strong.

You see, scientists have discovered that trees cannot sustain themselves when they are grown in a protected environment. However, trees that grow as nature intended grow strong, because they are tested by wind and other elements.

Looking at trees as they bend in the wind, we see that they do not resist. They bend and sway gently, seemingly in a state of acceptance that their greatest good is being served by yielding to nature’s forces. Rather than bending in the wind, they seem to bend with it.

We are a lot like trees. We too need to be tested by the winds of life, because we, like trees, cannot grow in strength and resilience in a hot house. We need times of variance and stress to challenge us. And, yes, we need times of adversity too.  As much as we may dislike them and resist them when they happen, those stresses and strains of living, and hardships too, are opportunities to deepen our roots and become stronger.

But, of course, it depends what we do with those challenging experiences. Do we resist them? Do we allow them to break us and irrevocably distort our perceptions? Or, do we with time, perspective and acceptance see what strength we can draw from them?

And so we can take a leaf from the Book of Wisdom of the Trees.

With the same innate grace as the trees, let’s first accept what we cannot change. Let’s then find the deeper meaning in our hardest experiences and harvest the lessons. That may take time and distance from those difficult events. But ultimately, we too will grow deeper and stronger and wiser.

And, if nothing else, we will grow in compassion. And that alone is worth the pain.

“I bend with the winds of life, knowing that from this pain my heart will grow in wisdom, love and compassion.”