The Useless Tree: A Story About Letting Go of Approval Seeking

During this time of disruption, cataclysm and alter many of us are asking big questions about how we want to live our lives, thinking about what really matters and stirring changes.

One of the most important themes I am noticing when I talk to people right now is that they are tired from the speed of the life they were living, tired from the stress of their lifestyle and a bit disillusioned with it. I hear you, I’m feeling it more. The life was moving so fast.

So why were we moving so quickly? And how did we get so emphasized? And what do we do now?

Well there’s an age-old parable that can offer us some ability and thinking on this. It’s a parable about a tree. A useless tree.

A carpenter and his apprentice were strolling together through a large forest. And when they came across a towering, massive, gnarled, age-old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter questioned his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so tall, so immense, so gnarled, so old and beautiful? ” The apprentice looked at his employer and said: “No…why? ”

“Well, ” the carpenter said, “because it is useless. If it had been useful it would then be chipped long ago and realise into something else. But a boat made from it would sink, a coffin would soon rot, a tool would separate, a doorway would exude sap, and a rafter ought to have been termites. It’s worthless material and is of no usage. That is have now reached such a ripe old age.

And it’s accurately because it is useless that it could grow so tall, majestic and so beautiful and that you can sit in its subtlety and loosen on a sizzling date. No one seems to know how useful it is to be useless like this beautiful tree .”

He went on to say ” What is it to be useless? It is to be free of striving to become something, to be someone special or to prove yourself. To be useless is simply to relax as “youre ever”, to rest at ease, to abide in your true nature in an easy way.

When there is nothing to do , nothing to be, and good-for-nothing to attain; When we truly let go of any need to be a certain way, leaving everything alone, then we are truly free, like the tree .”

I love this parable. It’s an important reminder of how often our feel of self-worth is hitched to being’ helpful’ to someone else. We’re often assessing how handy we are to a company, to our partner, to our community, to my best friend, to our clas, to the world.

There can be a sense that our usefulnes is only in our make. And a background fear that our being isn’t enough.

We might all benefit from take some time to ask ourselves what exactly it is that we’re labouring so hard to be’ useful’ for, and why, and for whose benefit.

What do we hope to gain by all of our efficiency and productivity, and for whose admiration or praise? Are we hindering so hectic because we think that’s what is actually needed or are we are only crowding up our minutes with a outburst of task aimed at’ being someone’ in the eyes of the world?

The reality is that every single person is valuable and deserving because there are, and each one of us makes a difference to the world bordering us. No one is useless, even if they are seen that way by some people around them.

So remember, it doesn’t matter how others label you, or what they think of you or require from you. Your importance does not depend on your do. You are whole and admirable in every staple of your being.

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Written by WHS

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