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September 21, 2023

Where Your Seeds Are Planted

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Last weekend I went on a great hike along a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. This trail follows the top of the ridge line that spans the entire western United States, and what was interesting to observe along this ridge was that a lot of the trees had their tops blown off by the gusts that whip up over the ridge. 

These trees, who started as seeds and grew to over 50 feet tall, had no say in where they were planted. And they have even less of an influence on what kinds of winds they’re exposed to.

I immediately related this to our human experience. We don’t choose what circumstances we’re born into, our genetics, or the elements around us. Like these trees, where we start is out of our control and some people are handed a more challenging life that they must manage. 

But what are we to do about it? There’s nothing we can do about it other than do our best with whatever we’re facing. We don’t choose the hand we’re dealt but we do get to choose how we play it. You can feel victimized by your circumstances and restricted by your hardship, or you can use it as fuel to propel you forward in ways that others can’t.

I don’t mean to belittle the difficulties and unfairness that is the lottery of life, but I do believe that our paths are perfectly crafted and that we’re placed exactly where we’re supposed to be. Whether that reason is to learn a lesson, be able to relate with and understand a certain type of person, or something else, it’s our responsibility to squeeze the juice out of the life we’re given (should we choose to accept it).

Like the trees with their tops blown off at the top of the ridge, resiliently putting their energy into growing taller without bitterness or resentment, we too can accept our circumstances for what they are and with that awareness decide what we want to do next.

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