The Voices That Love You

Feb 21 / Amanda Nicole
It’s taken years for me to love myself.

I didn’t even know loving yourself was a legit thing -- until I met the plants.

Of course, I saw all the social media posts telling me to love myself, encouraging me to do so, and instructing me on how to do it.  But the posts were lost on me -- simply virtual noise and visual clutter.

I had the voice of the preacher speaking in my ear, telling me I was but a lowly human, a soul in need of saving, something dirty needing to be made clean, a useless servant, a worm.

And I had the voice of my mother in my ear, telling me I was so hard to love.

And I believed them.

There was a day that I stood between two trees, and they took my hands and lifted me up between them.  I could feel their delight in me.  With love and joy, they said, We will be your parents.  And it was just that easy -- to be adopted by tulip poplar trees.

From the beginning, Tulip Poplar has poured love into me.  Every step of the way, she has cheered me on, encouraging my every endeavor.  She has made sure I knew my heart was golden, a priceless treasure to be guarded and tended, and he has spoken to me in the most tender words and with endless patience.  And over time, little by little, they have shown me who I truly am:  a magnificent, beautiful, multidimensional, otherworldly being who is not only loving but lovable. Love itself.

Tulip Poplar thinks I’m irresistible.  Maybe I am.

We discard parts of ourselves as unworthy, unlovable, unforgivable. Someone once told us we weren’t enough -- and we believed them. But the plants draw near, lovingly observe us being human, and then tell us to look into their eyes and listen closely.  There are truths to be told.

Blueberry whispers, You are rare and precious, a child of the stars, and more than enough.

Come, Rose leads you to her mirror. Open your eyes, beautiful soul.  Let me help you see clearly who you are.  She giggles when you gasp, blushing with the beauty and worth that her cannot-tell-a-lie looking glass reveals.

There is nothing to forgive, Tulip Poplar tells you.  I see, accept,  and love every part of you.  I delight in you.

Make space for yourself,  nudges Chamomile.

You don’t have to do another thing, declares Blue Vervain.

Be tender with yourself, counsels Tulip Poplar.

I love you, Rose confesses. And one day you respond, I love me too.

I’ll likely never give voice to all the truths the plants have poured into my heart. Some things aren’t meant to be spoken but simply felt and received.  There is a language without words.

These beings that I was taught to water and tend have been watering and tending me -- and teaching me how to do the same.  Without the presence of Rose, I don’t believe I would bless my skin with fragrant lotions and oils.  Without the companionship of Violet, I don’t believe I would love my voice -- how it sounds and what it expresses.  Without the tending of Blue Vervain, I don’t believe I would give myself a break and let myself rest.  Without Chamomile’s friendship, I don’t believe I would make space for myself -- to rest, to create, to breathe, to be. Without Blueberry’s unconditional love and expansive acceptance, I don’t believe I would think the words rare and precious could possibly describe me.  And without Tulip Poplar, I don’t believe I would see and know and love who I really am.  If I  hadn't experienced who the plants are, I wouldn't be who I am.

Once, I wrote a poem, or a “little thought” as my dad says

only listen
to the voice
that loves you

And so, my friends, I sit with trees

Sending love,
Amanda Nicole 

Amanda is a teacher at MWIH and teaches Animal Medicines and Plant Attunement. She also co-teachings with Matthew in Herbs A to Z

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