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  • Writer's pictureMarc D. Richter, LICSW, LADC


As the buds on all the trees are coming out again I'm reminded of their utter strength, their stature, their courage and bravery. I was reminded recently of the difference between animals and trees. The animal, be it an earthworm, a cat, a fish or a human being survives when threatened by moving away, by swimming, pulling away or running. Trees do not have such a choice. They must stick around. They must stay. They are left to their own devices in order to survive. Indeed, they must simply stand there and figure out how to adapt to whatever threats come their way. As a therapist, I have great respect for trees. Because as humans we are so busy moving around, fleeing and running away - particularly from conflict, feelings and challenges be it from within or from outside of ourselves. I think we all need to learn over the course of our existence here on earth to stand tall, to sit with ourselves and with others and to learn to stay. For if we "stay" we learn to adjust, to adapt and to become stronger. Be a tree.

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