Salvaging stumps

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art, employee wellness, positive psychology, Uncategorized, wellbeing

The ideal way to lose something is by choice – and if it’s by choice, then losing it is probably a very joyous thing, as in the case of holiday pounds or bad habits. But even when the loss is unwanted, it doesn’t mean something good can’t be carved from the remains.

Take Stephen and Tabitha King. They didn’t choose to lose their 300-year old majestic ash tree in their front yard due to bug infestation, but in that they did and in that they have loads of tree carving money, this is what they did with their tree stump:

stumps 1

Likewise, some people over in the Little City area of Bangor wouldn’t have chosen to lose their beautiful tree at the foot of their driveway in the terrible windstorm a few months ago, but in that they did and in that they had at least some tree carving money, this is what they did with their tree stump:

stumpo 2

And just barely along those same lines, I didn’t choose to lose my two beloved olive trees to disease (which I daresay was caused by extreme remorse on the part of those trees for having provided a group of ill–mannered squirrels ridiculously easy access to my roof and hence my house), but in that I did and in that I had no tree carving money, this is what I did with my stumps:

stump 4

We’re all rich in loss of one sort or another these days, from socializing to feeling safe and so many things in between. But have you been able to make something good come from any of it? Or make something good from any unwanted event, circumstance or loss in your life you have suffered?

If so, let me know in this anonymous 1-question survey link and I’ll share the collection in an upcoming post. The responses I’ve seen so far range from utterly delightful adaptations to this strange time of life to the utterly compelling determination to make something good come out of heartbreak.

What clear from these stories is how much of life is an invitation to adapt and salvage. It’s like the big secret to life: a cycle of adaptation and salvation. Adaptation and salvation. That’s where the meaning and joy seems to be.

Note: This story was originally written for Wellness Wednesday, a weekly column I write on being whole and healthy for the employee wellness program I run for Northern Light Health.

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