“A Tree without leaves can’t give shade.”Jamaican Proverb
The case for self-care
To steward anything of value demands that the steward must be able to care for themselves before they can know how to truly care for someone or something else.
I pass the above pictured “Cotton” tree whenever I run errands. She is magnificent. She is at least 6 feet across in diameter and probably over 4 stories tall. I can’t begin to guess how old this magnificent tree is. The one thing I do know is that she provides shade for several understory trees, varied vegetation, a herd of goats on occasion and the people who feel the relief from the sun when they walk into her large shadow.
This tree does not apologize or shrink from the space that is needed to give shade. She requires loads of water and organic nutrients to have attained her size. While I have no desire to attain her size (though I do have her bulging bell), I do need to take up a lot of space in my life in order for me to steward the people and causes I love.
I NEED TO:
- Exercise and eat well so I can support the ones who might need my mind to be sharp and my body strong.
- Rest so that I can work through strenuous time demands (especially in stressful situations).
- To experience happiness and joy so that I recognize when these things are lacking in the ones I steward.
- Read so that I stay current about all the resources that are necessary to navigate through my life and the ones I steward.
- Stay in touch with my higher power so that I can tap into my faith during difficult as well as good times.
- Live in gratitude so that I can share my good fortune with all that I steward.
The world is filled with a bounty of gifts. Even as we go through these dark days we have been given incredible gifts. Some of us have grown closer to family , learned more about our self than we thought possible, and some have grown steadfast in their faith. All of these things help us grow leaves and that allows us to shade all we care for in our part of the world. Finally, I noticed that my lovely tree brushes branches with several other large and imposing trees creating a luxurious green canopy. We can do the same. Throw some good shade someone’s way. After all, we are our brother’s/sister’s keeper.