My family and I visited the California Redwoods this summer. I have always loved the redwoods and while I have lived most of my life in California I never actually visited the state park until then. It was fascinating. The park is set up with a path that goes past hundreds of redwoods that are so huge and beautiful. What I found most interesting is how there would be clumps of trees together. I later learned these are called groves. The redwoods clump together to support each other. Their root systems are pretty shallow, only reaching six to twelve feet deep with a root diameter of 1 inch. The roots spread out sideways 50-80 feed wide. The root systems of the trees grow together, intertwining, so that they are all strengthened by their connection to one another.
Often times when we face struggles and challenges, the temptation is to isolate, pretend all is ok or try to do it alone. This may work for a while, but it is a lonely place to be and pretty soon we will face burn out. I encourage us all to reach out to others. Find safe people to share your struggles with. Allow yourself to draw from the strength of those around you.
I know when I finally opened up and shared my struggles with a close friend, the burden of the struggle lifted a little. I didn’t have to keep all the hurt inside anymore. And, the beautiful thing is that when we are vulnerable with others, it encourages them to vulnerable with us. We grow together and we are strengthened by our connections.
Whatever you are struggling with, find your grove.