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I had a wonderful experience on Facebook this week and wanted to share it here. I just love it when a concrete, third-dimensional experience shows me a deeper spiritual side to it! There is a tree that stands in the corner of my backyard. I have watched it grow to more than two times its size in the over 20 years I have lived here. A very large spruce dwarfs it. Each spring, flowers blossom on the tree and by the end of two weeks’ time, the petals are on the ground. This tree blends in with the greenery and I forget its presence until the following year when it shows itself again to me.

Recently, a friend and I were having a conversation about flowering trees, pollen, and seasonal allergies. I looked out the window and began discussing my flowering tree. In the past, I called it a magnolia. My friend requested a picture and commented upon its receipt that it looked like a dogwood. “Hmm,” I thought. We spoke matter-of-factly about its genus and didn’t covet our respective ideas. We found it interesting that the tree we both viewed appeared different to the other. I wasn’t threatened that I had labeled the tree as a magnolia for years and found that my assumption could be incorrect. For fun, I decided to pose the question to my Facebook friends, asking what type of tree they saw when they viewed the picture I would post. (This is how Joanie creates community, discussion, and levity during challenging times like these.)

The response was quite astonishing. Folks weighed in and had fun doing so! Magnolia. Dogwood. Crab apple. Tulip. I added two more close-ups and more responses came in. It appeared that “magnolia” topped the list, but it didn’t matter to me what the tree’s genus was. What excited me was this: everyone was respectful of the other’s take on the pictures posted. Agreeing to disagree was the tenor of the discussion. Egos and assignments of what was truth didn’t appear to exist. What was apparent was the clarity of knowing, the humor in the text, and the fluidity of the conversation among all participants.

Why do I write about my tree and the Facebook genus weigh-in? I wanted to liken this discussion to those we have been having about difficult topics that we are faced with today. Egos aside, humor inserted, and the give and take of information — this is what is needed when we share our truth with others. If one can choose/is able to control how they interact during a discussion about a tree, they surely are able to make decisions about how they comport themselves with others around dicier topics. Debating with ego, anger, and rigidity was absent from the “tree party” I began on Facebook. Debating about hefty issues can also be done with humility, lightness of heart and passion, and grace.

Some may contend that a tree’s genus is nowhere as important or “here and now” as what issues are dividing people today. I will agree to disagree and share that all topics can be discussed with the predisposed notion that every soul has come to their respective conclusions based on their journey here, as well as other incarnations. The gestalt we bring to the table is our own and no one else’s. I cannot make anyone understand who I am and how I conclude the way I do, nor can another person regarding their self and their process. The tree, standing silently and beautifully, is a symbol of The Truth. How we perceive the tree is My Truth or Your Truth. Ultimately, we all learn The Truth, but while we journey third dimensionally, we are left to our conclusions in relation to what we perceive here and everywhere.

How you see my tree is Your Truth. I respect this and admire your knowing. If you do not know, I respect this, as well. To interact with humility, levity, and grace is paramount to our ascension. Go inward and ask yourself whether you must know, need to know, have to know, and must have others agree with you. If you have answered affirmatively to any or all of the aforementioned, maybe you would consider lightening up and agreeing to disagree on one point that you hold dear to your heart.  It will free you to know that it doesn’t matter whether another agrees. What does matter is the process you engage in and how you relate to others before they settle, if at all, on a conclusion.

When we return Home, we are met with Love and the Rapture. We aren’t asked, “Did you know the true genus of the tree?” Instead, we are met with, “What did you learn in the process?”

I hope your tree, whether you know its genus, blossoms with flowers of unspeakable beauty all year ’round.

With Love,

~Joanie