One of the statements Glennon made during the episode stuck with me. She mentioned that she has been reading a book about forests. She didn’t reference the book title or author but I think it might have been this one.
Glennon said that the book taught her that, “even when the trees are separate from each other in a forest, the roots underneath are all connected. And so, if one tree is unhealthy, then it makes the next tree unhealthy because their roots are all still intermingled.”
Glennon goes on to share that she believes the success of her and Craig’s transition into co-parenting is mainly due to one thing: They are each individually committed to their own growth, peace, and work. They read, listen, learn, grow, and participate in their own therapy in order to cultivate and nurture healthy roots.
I think it’s important to note here that the idea of having healthy roots does not necessarily mean that we were born into a healthy family, or that our lives have been free from harmful patterns or toxic relationships.
Rather, it means that we take responsibility for our own personal health and that we recognize the impact our self-work has on the relationships we have with others. Additionally, we see and acknowledge that we are also impacted by the self-work or lack thereof of other people.
Here is one thing I learned from the time I spent social distancing over the last year and a half: The relationships in my life that I most want to nurture are ones where we are both working on our healthy roots. I simply don’t have the time, energy, or interest in relationships where self-work is absent.
The reason for this is simple – when someone is doing their own work, having a close relationship with them brings more peace, joy, and inspiration to my own life. Alternatively, having a close relationship with someone who isn’t doing their own work, leads me to feel frustrated, resentful, and burdened.
As therapists, the cultivation and protection of our own healthy roots has a direct impact on the care we give our clients.
I’m curious – have you found joy and freedom in nurturing your healthy roots and in engaging with others who are doing the same?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts or reflections if you want to share.