A Year To Change – eBook
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Bent, Not Broken



I went Fall leaf-peeping last week

in the mountains of North Carolina

and on one of the beautiful morning

walks I took with my husband,

we came upon this crooked tree.

The Awkward Tree

Right next to it was the trunk

of a large tree, with most of the rest

of it fallen to the ground.

Meaning that this awkward looking tree,

with the big bend in it,

most likely grew this way

in the shadow of this much larger tree,

no longer standing next to it.

Looking at this funny, bent tree…

it got me thinking.

The Awkward Person

Some people are like this bent tree.

I meet people like this all the time.

We might all be like this tree in some ways.

We grow and develop in different ways,

depending on our environment and we are

greatly influenced by circumstances and

certain events that happen in our lifetimes.

Especially traumatic events.

Different Environments

But even non-traumatic events, like being the

oldest child or the youngest or the middle child.

Being the child of successful parents, or parents

who speak a different language.

Being the child of poverty or of affluence…

all create an environment in which people

grow according to their circumstances.

Celebrating Survival

There are certain things we can do in some

places that we can’t in others.

Like this tree which grew sideways because

the light was being blocked by a larger tree,

growth is still possible.

When things are twisted or bent,

instead of seeing damage or distortion,

maybe it’s possible to celebrate survival

in less than ideal circumstances.

Bent, But Not Broken

When people survive childhoods that were less

than ideal with personality issues or addictions

that are problems in adulthood, maybe it’s possible

to start from that place of celebrating survival

before we condemn the coping skills the person

developed in order to survive.

Many people are bent, but not broken.

Just like this beautiful tree.


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