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A Tree and His Cup
A story about fear and love. About burning yourself out...
and how important it is to fill your cup FIRST.
Copyright content by Hatch Brighter
Once upon a time there was a forest. In that forest, there was a tree. On top of that tree, there were some leaves that made a shape of a cup. These leaves were strong and powerful. Every time Sister Rain came to visit, she would fill up the tree's cup with water. And all of the forest animals would gratefully come to drink up all the water. This would make the tree feel very good. He would feel joyful, grateful and loved because he was able to help his forest friends.
This went on and on for a while. Until one day when Sister Rain came to visit. This time he noticed different feelings. He felt angry and resentful. This was because he was feeling afraid of his forest friends coming to drink all of his water, without any left for him again. After Sister Rain left lots of water in his cup, all of his forest friends came running and drank it all up. He tried to feel happy about it but it something just didn't feel true to him.
So, he went to to ask the wise owl named Owlette for some help. He told her his story, after which she asked him who he loves more, his forest friends or himself? "I can't choose!" He declared. "My forest friends are very special to me. And I am also very special."
"Is it important for you to take care of them and be there for them?" inquired the owl.
"Yes! Of course it is," said the tree.
The owl smiled and said, "Can you take care of them if you are unhealthy and unwell?"
"No, I guess I can't," whispered the tree.
"Well then! What do you need to stay healthy?" asked Owlette.
"I need sunlight and water," realized the tree.
"Well then. That is settled. So, now the question is how do you make sure you get some water first."
"Hmm!" Thought the tree. "I remember what my mommy used to do. It never made sense to me then, but I understand now. Whenever Sister Rain would fill her cup with water, she would close up her leaves and we would all have to wait until she opens them up again. That is when everyone would go to her and drink up her water. I think she was drinking the water first."
Owlette smiled with her eyes and her heart. And with that she flew away.
Many days passed by with no rain. The tree was feeling very thirsty. The sun and moon came to visit the forest many times. Finally, Sister Rain came and oh did she pour and pour. This time, the tree's cup was so full, that water was actually pouring out. All the forest animals came running and flying to the tree. But to their surprise, the saw the tree do something different. The leaves were all closed up. So, the forest animals patiently waited.
The tree drank and drank. He did not drink too much or too little. He drank just enough. When he felt content and satiated, he opened up his leaves. The forest animals ran up his nourished trunks with excitement. Birds flew to his branches. And they drank and drank and drank. The tree felt different. He felt joyful, grateful, fulfilled and calm. He was no longer afraid, because he also felt LOVED. He felt loved by the forest and he felt loved by himself.
You see, the opposite of fear is love.
So, the next time you are feeling afraid, try giving yourself love first, and see what happens...
My Outer-Self: B.S. from USC in Industrial & Systems Engineering, owner of Amna Dance, Co-founder of Hatch Brighter and You Matter Too.