A juniper tree in my front yard has an interesting shape. Its main trunk died sometime before I bought the property. I had the trunk cut down to a stump. The tree remains alive, because two large branches grow out of one side of the stump. Those branches thrive. They stand tall, as though they are another tree.
A couple of years ago, the tree branches started looking sick. Some of their needles turned brown. I couldn't figure out why, because they got plenty of water. I hosed water all around the base of the stump, especially on the side that supported the two branches. In spite of getting that water, the branches didn't improve.
One day I decided to pour water into the hole in the center of the stump. That stump guzzled the water. No matter how much water I poured into that hole, it wanted more. Eventually, water reached the top of the stump hole and began to spill over. Its thirst had finally been quenched.
After watering the juniper that way for a few days, the branches began to look healthier. The needles grew green again. The tree began to thrive. Ever since then, I have watered that tree through the hole in the middle of its stump. The tree continues to thrive!
That experience with the juniper made me wonder how often we think we are nurturing ourselves when maybe we're not. Are we giving ourselves what we really need, or are we missing what will help us thrive? Whatever that missing thing is, when we find it and provide ourselves with more of it, we start feeling better. Fun, adventure and delight return to us.
What does it take to find that special thing that will return enthusiasm to us? I suspect it will be unique for each of us. To find it, pay attention to what you long for. It could be something quite simple, or it might be more complex.
The key is to pay attention to how you feel, what you wish for, what you miss. When you find whatever that hole in the stump is for you, give it more of whatever it is you've been wishing for, needing, or wanting. Do it consistently, and you may find yourself thriving just like my juniper tree.