• Mary Ruth Velicki

What Two Trees Taught Me

Updated: Oct 6


I was sitting across the yard when I noticed these two trees. They were planted together about four years ago, and they looked the same until a month ago. But then my husband trimmed three feet off the top of the tree on the left, and spring transformed the tree on the right. As I looked at the scene, I considered some commonly-held truths.


  • When a tree has been traumatized, it is often difficult for it to grow- even in the most favorable environment.

  • Trees always try to survive, but if they have experienced a lot of trauma, they may die.

  • If a tree is restoring itself, this healing is guided by some kind of inner intelligence.

  • This process takes time.

  • Healing is supported by the stability of the earth and the energy of the sun.

  • I can't heal the tree, but I can support its efforts.


It occurred to me that these concepts are also true for people, but I didn't always treat my fellow humans with the same understanding. Instead, I often blamed people for being in a traumatized state, compared them to others who were flourishing, tried to heal them, and became impatient with their progress.


To increase our compassion for eachother- let's revisit each of these concepts with our fellow humans in mind.

  • When a person has been traumatized, it is often difficult for them to grow- even in the most favorable environment.

  • People always try to survive, but if they have experienced a lot of trauma, they may die.

  • If a person is restoring themselves, this healing is guided by some kind of inner intelligence.

  • This process takes time.

  • Healing is supported by the stability of the earth and the energy of the sun.

  • I can't heal another person, but I can support their efforts.


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