|Imagine this covered in leaves.|
This summer, I followed my usual pattern of attempting to take control of this tree. I trimmed it and then looked out the window and realized how awful it looked. It finally dawned on me that I would never win this battle. I decided I was going to just let the tree do whatever it wanted to do and let it be. Funny how that works when you give up trying to control something. Almost instantly, I saw the tree in a different light. For the first time in all our years living here, I looked out the window and saw that tons of birds found refuge in that mess of a tree. I suddenly started hearing their chirps. Although I was too stubborn to recognize it, nature knew what this tree needed to do.
Life is full of lessons on giving up control. Years ago I had to make the exact same discovery with my rheumatoid arthritis. Rather than overthinking every single thing I did in life, wondering if that was the reason I was in pain, I accepted that the pain was a part of my life. With that realization, I was able to look outside of the pain and see the beauty that has come from living with an autoimmune disease: better understanding of self, stronger voice, wonderful friendships, more empathy for others, and much more.