PETALUMA, California, May 22, 2016 – It took awhile, but after spending three hours in a forest of old growth redwoods, I think I figured out why you rarely see any branches on these behemoths until you look 100, 150, sometimes 200 feet up. Were branches to accumulate any lower, I reasoned, they’d be prevented from growing any taller.
I’m sure there’s some biologist who could describe this phenomenon in more scientific terms, probably having to do with the tree competing with its neighbors for ample sunlight in order to survive. But I’m pretty sure his or her conclusion would be basically the same: There’s no sense in the tree holding on to something that can only drag it down.
The same is true for us. The more we hold on to outmoded views of the world – of others, of ourselves, even of the Divine – the more difficult it is for us to progress. The problem is we have a tendency to take matters into our own hands, unconsciously and inadvertently getting in the way of what should be a natural pruning process. The effect is that we end up with more mental baggage than we can handle, wondering why we don’t seem to be making any headway.
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This was not, however, the case for Emily.
The young woman from England had just graduated from college when she found herself struggling with an eating disorder. “I was terribly underweight and really depressed,” she relates in a YouTube video. Rather than seeking medical help, she decided instead to try a more spiritually oriented approach to addressing her problem.
“A turning point for me, I can remember,” says Emily, “it was as if God was speaking to me directly, saying, ‘It’s not how you see yourself but how I see you that will heal you.’ And I started seeing more of what God sees. God doesn’t see imperfection, God sees good and only good.”
As she began adopting this divinely inspired view of herself – letting the mental branches of self-condemnation, fear, and so on fall by the wayside – something wonderful happened: She was cured of her eating disorder. But it gets even better.
At the time, Emily was wearing prescription glasses and was due for a checkup. After her examination, her doctor said she no longer needed glasses. “I was not only healed mentally, spiritually, physically,” she says, “I was healed completely, permanently.”
If only it were so easy for the rest of us. The thing is, though, it can be. That is, to the extent we’re willing to let nature take its course.
By this I mean that it’s natural, even inevitable, for those thoughts that would try and keep us down to fall away as we allow ourselves to be drawn ever closer to that deeply spiritual view of ourselves that, as Emily discovered, results in healing.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman,” says Jesus. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
Looked at from a purely human perspective, such a process isn’t always easy, especially when we insist on hanging on to our old branches of thought. But like the redwood that simply can’t resist the sun, we’re all destined to be drawn upward to our divine source of happiness, health, and healing.
Eric Nelson writes about the link between consciousness and health from his perspective as a practitioner of Christian Science. He also serves as the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern California. Follow him on Twitter @norcalcs. Continue the conversation on Facebook.