01 Aug Who said I need a reason?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wake up and life just feels like it’s going to suck that day. Usually I can relate it to something concrete, such as a challenge I may have at work, or I have a million crappy chores to do, or I have a bill to pay that feels a waste of my income when I’d rather spend it on something more fruitful, like… me . Or I just wake up feeling fat, hmmm, I hate that, might as well go back to bed cos then I really don’t feel good about myself and so how can anyone else?
But what happens when you just can’t find any discernible reason for feeling so bleak? Everyday just stretches ahead with nothing that seems positive or interesting and you lack energy to focus on anything very much at all?
It’s an energetic day when you’ve managed to engage with Jeremy Kyle or get to the play station. It can be such a lonely and anxious feeling, especially if it stretches into weeks, months and even years. For some it can be a lifetime. Someone once said to me that he was sure God had created him just to s**t on him. I really felt his despair, pain and sorrow, and it has struck me on occasion how many of those I have worked with echo similar sentiments, albeit expressed in different ways.
That’s why I find Tan’s tale of The Red Tree so profound. The world can often seem overwhelming; with small things escalating to mountains, with too many obstacles to move forward. It’s so isolating as those around you might not really understand. How can they when very often you don’t understand it for yourself? Yet when the world feels deaf to you, there becomes less of a reason to speak, to reach out for help, as you retreat further into your scary world. Scary, yes, uncomfortable yes, but in some ways strangely safe owing to its familiarity. You might have heard that daft saying: “I know I’m in my own little world, but it’s ok. They know me here.” Somehow that can ring very true.
When we are struggling, I have found that regardless of what the biggest issue appears to be at the time, most people have one general sentiment, which is “just not to feel like this anymore.” The Red Tree symbolises hope as from just a seed or a leaf, something strong, stable and resilient can grow. Its simplicity as a child’s story equally resonates with me. As adults we still have an inner child, one that was possibly not nurtured appropriately when we were little, and sometimes I feel we need to go back to, reconnect with, and embrace that wounded self and thereby start a healing process.
With support from counselling, your GP, friends and family, your inner strength can be ignited, there is a way forward. As expressed by this African Proverb:
“However long the night, the dawn will break.”
Help is out there. You need only ask.