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I Wanna Be a Tree

alec vanderboom

I found myself in a tense and chaotic social situation today.

Due to my anxiety problem, I usually experience serious tension as a lack of oxygen. My airways get tense and constrict. There are people and situations that I've encountered in the past where I felt like a gasping guppy suddenly pulled out of its fish tank.

Our Lord explained my suffering to me once in Adoration as a type of Spiritual Asthma. So I took St. Bernadette as my patron saint in this area.

Pregnancy is a state of heightened anxiety for almost every woman. In past, I've had to be super conscious of preforming the little anti-anxiety tricks that I learned in therapy with each and every baby.

This pregnancy, however, is totally different. I think it's Carmel. My daily prayer routine has all the "scientific" anti-anxiety tricks built right into it. In addition, I have all the reassurance and grace inherent in our Catholic faith.

Today, I noticed the huge difference that Carmel has made in my life. I encountered a tense, chaotic social situation while being exhausted, sore, and seven months pregnant.

It was no big deal! I was totally fine! I breathed easy. I practiced the virtues of Silence and Prayer. I felt content to be "the boring one", "the wallflower", the helpless infant who simply referred all the big stuff directly to God.

I decided that I want more of this feeling.

I wanna be a tree.

A tree is the opposite of most people. People breathe in pure Oxygen and breathe out C02. I want to breathe in the waste gases of C02 and breathe out more Oxygen for others.

I'd like to be someone who breathes in chaos, worries, and tension and breathes out prayer, hope and love.

I aspire to be the still potted plant in the room that makes everyone else breathe easier.

Right now, I'm only a tiny sapling. I'm sure that my current spiritual oxygen export could barely be measured. That's okay. Whether I stay the spiritual size of a sapling or grow into a mighty oak is all of God's doing, not mine. It's the intention in my heart that counts.

I like the "Be a Tree" principle.

One day, I'd like to hear my Father in Heaven say "everyone in the room breathes easier whenever Abigail is present."