Root > Fruit
It was hot. The sun was reflecting off the asphalt and scorching my legs. As hot as it was, I didn’t compare to the heat in my chest as I yelled while running frantically away from my friend. She delighted in exploiting one of my fears. In her hand she held a snake. Sure it was already dead, but as snakes do, it kept squirming post-mortem. Do you see how evil snakes are?! Even when they’re dead they’re after ya! So there I am, being chased by my friend who held the thing nightmares of made of. That was one, of many, where friendship fell short.
We have innumerable scenarios where we were made fun of, bullied, abused, torn down, that left our little hearts broken and bleeding.
Sometimes, as an adult, it’s still too painful to think about them, so we push them into a room in our mind and seal the door - hopefully to never think about it again. Other times we try to make light of those situations, not calling it for want it is. Regardless of the how we deal with the pain, it’s still there informing how we engage with life. This friends, is called “fruit.”
What I mean by “fruit” is that it’s an ever-growing byproduct of something. Just like an apple tree makes apples, you past experiences/pain produces fruit. For example, how many times did ya do something you’d rather not? Did ya consume that cookie when you said only two? What about work late one night though you promised yourself a good night’s sleep? Perhaps you said yes to a flirtatious invitation even though you’re married. If we look at the trend of our interactions we’ll notice a pattern of fruit. Regardless our preference of it, that pattern holds tried and true.
For the past fifteen years I avoided female relationships. I either felt awkward - like the feeling when there’s a camera in your face - what do I do with my face, arms; is my hair okay?
To add to the misery, I felt like if I did have friends I would inevitably let them down. I’d hurt them.
Pretty much, I should just go around screaming “not worthy” to keep people at bay. This wasn’t for the lack of a desire to have deep female relationships, I just couldn’t. My trend, or rather, fruit was that I mentally sabotaged any opportunities I had. When your self talk is “you suck” - it’s makes believing others would want you pretty dagum difficult.
The system of plants start with the roots. Once that has begun then it blossoms into branches, flowers, and fruit. The fruit is the culmination of a cycle, where it’s seeds are meant to beget more life… more roots. The healthier the root and tree, the better the fruit. Unfortunately the converse is quite true too. If the roots and tree are diseased, the fruit will be useless.
But how many times, in the tree that’s our lives, do we try to fix fruit?
I’ll diet. I’ll join a book club. I’ll ignore the flirtatious guy. I’ll reach out to her. I’ll blacklist that site. Only to later revert back to the previous steady state. Trying to tend to the fruit, the symptoms, doesn't work. We have to address the root to stop the fruit. This means we have to take courage and look into the wound and pick out the shrapnel. It’s heart wrenching, but restorative.