Branches and Roots

 

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A beautiful and powerful metaphor we experience in autumn is watching leaves transform from bright and shiny and green to rich yellows and oranges and reds. And then, we watch them fall, shrivel up, and be washed away by rain or snow.

 

Birth and death. Beginning and end. And we are equally multidimensional. We are beautiful and generous and loving; we can also be selfish, angry and cruel.

 

And I am convinced that denying our complex nature is the source of so much sadness and anxiety and stress. Striving to be perfect, denying our past, pretending to be something we are not—this is the great tragedy of our life experience! So, what is to be done?

 

Using Jung’s tree metaphor, our life’s work is to accept the totality of our being—to reach our branches upward, striving toward all that is good and honorable for ourselves and others, and at the same time to acknowledge and continually investigate our darker and often suppressed side, or shadow, as Jung called it.

 

Accepting life means accepting death; accepting our goodness means accepting our challenges. And this is what makes life so rich and beautiful and mysterious.

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