Oaks and Redwoods Addiction RecoverySerenity Vista
Addiction Recovery Message From the Trees
Don’t Be An Oak. Be a Redwood.
The Oak Tree
This is my story about addiction recovery. I grew up in Kansas in the 1950’s near the edge of the Great Plains. Kansas is the essence of open spaces. Land so vast and flat it appears you can see the curvature of the earth as though you were looking over the ocean.
Back in the day, Kansas was mainly made up of family farms. As a result, you often would see a single farmhouse and barn surrounded by a sea of wheat or corn fields. The soil was deep and rich. Inevitably, there would be an enormous oak tree on the west side of the house and for good practical reason. The tree can grow big enough to protect the house from the brunt of Spring’s fast moving thunderstorms as well as Winter’s cold blustery winds. Farmhouses were notoriously drafty. And, in the summer, its long full branches reach out over the roof to provide shade in the summer days that often get to a blistering 100+ degrees.
Midwestern values were always being pounded into a young man’s head back then. I am grateful for that. So, it was no surprise when my Boy Scout leader said:
“The oak is a perfect example of what a good man should be!”
He went on to explain that an oak tree stands alone and provides and protects its family. The big oak tall and strong provides the perfect shade for outdoor family get-togethers, and branches that almost beg for swings and tree houses. He went on to explain that the lesson is this; the oak does this by putting one main tap-root very deep into the earth. Just like a good man it needs a very solid foundation to withstand the storms and challenges of life on the plains. He then said:
“Sink your root deep into good values and strong work ethic and you will be able to provide for and protect your family while never needing to ask for help yourself. You seldom see a farmhouse with two oak trees beside it.”
So I went through life trying to be an oak.
The oak is one of the largest trees in North America, but there is another tree that is much taller, stronger and lives much longer.
The majestic Oaks pale in comparison to Giant Redwoods of the great northwest. Whereas an Oak can reach up to 80 feet in height and live as long as a thousand years, the Giant Redwood reaches 350 feet into the air and lives over twice as long. This is more impressive when you consider the redwood lives one rocky shallow soil and has no taproot. How do they do it? Here is a quote from the Redwood National Park website:
“The root system of the redwood tree is surprisingly shallow…there is no tap root and the other roots may reach no deeper than 6-12 feet…the trees are able to remain upright for millennia by growing close together with other redwood trees, intermingling root systems.”
The Addiction Recovery Message
Synergy works better than individual strength and determination. Avoid isolation like a curse. It is nothing but a trap set by your ego that will keep you weak. I’m not suggesting never being alone. More like talking to at least five people a day. Just for a few minutes. Just by working this simple program I found multiple opportunities to meet people like in the organic food store. So many people are struggling with similar issues, why else would so many people be willing to pay those prices. There aren’t that many health nuts out there but there are that many sick people. Just keep smiling if you’re uncomfortable initiating conversation and you will find people will start talking to you. Ask questions – it won’t hurt. Try going to a friend’s church if you don’t currently go. You don’t have to believe. Just believe that they believe. Join one of their groups. Talk to people in the gym. You might be surprised how many older people are going for the same reason you are. Maybe they can say something to help. More importantly, maybe you can.
Did you ever hear the trite saying “We can do what I can’t?” Sorry to have to admit it, but my experience is they are right.
Guest Blog by Ron Young
Thank you Ron, for sharing your experience, strength and hope with the friends of Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat. Serenity Vista is affordable, discreet and effective alcohol treatment in beautiful Boquete, Panama. Come and find your synergy here.