The Healing Tree- pt. 1

(This is a story I wrote over the past few months on my own healing journey. It is an allegory about how we heal and how our spiritual journeys and mental health tie into that. )

In my brief experience, most of us have battles we fight. Often, however, there is singular battle that influences us the most. For some, it is ongoing. For others it is long, but finally comes to a climax in a final battle–a turning point– from which there is no return. We can avoid these battles for some time, we can stretch out the war, but there comes a time when we can’t avoid it any longer.

That was my battle. I couldn’t avoid it any longer.

My heart for so long felt like a barren land scarred by war. Flaming battle after battle has burned my land. It hasn’t rained in so long. It is hot and dusty. Savage animals, act aside sharp toothed beasts, even dragons roamed my land. Venomous serpents hide in every burned out tree and under every charred rock. To be honest, it was terrifying to live there. The land that should be a retreat, the land that should be a safe lush place to hide, instead was a battle ground. The beasts can smell fear. Anyone who crosses into my land is at risk. There are signposts every so often, but some think they are brave enough. The only plants left here are thorny and brittle, but somehow alive. There are little oases here and there with green plants. But even the water there is tainted with ash and dust.

There comes a time, however, when you are forced to face your demons. You know it. You’ve felt that time in your life. And this was mine. It was time to fight my demons. To face this battle once and for all. The details of it are not important. Like any battle against your own self, it is difficult, even impossible. Mostly, it is nearly impossible, because it requires one to evolve, to shed your old skin and self like a cicada does. The land filled with shed skins of snakes, must also include your dead old self.

So you do it. It is very much like a rebirth. It changes the way you view the world. You are different once you finally face your demons.

It doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Cerberus, named after the hellhound in ancient stories, is my ever present companion. He is the personification of the mental darkness that may never leave me. And even if I did face my demons and fight that battle, my lands, my fields are still charred and barren. The land is scarred still. This is where the healing begins.