The actual question my aromatherapy teacher asked me was, “What do you want to be remembered for after you pass away?”
She wasn’t being morbid. This was after I described to her the interpersonal conflicts I was facing at work, which partly resulted from my seemingly unstoppable need to climb the career ladder, to prove myself in some way. My own sense of competition was killing me…
What do you want to be remembered for? Who do you want to be? What really matters to you?
I didn’t really get it at the point she asked me, but looking back, I think she was asking me to ask myself what my deeper life goals might be. Probably, she saw me getting lost in the rat race, losing sight of the things that actually mattered to my soul: my family, my friends, contributing to the world through my work rather than focusing on winning every accolade.
You know what I answered her? Without really thinking, I blurted out that I wanted to be like a tree.
Most people don’t notice each individual tree. They don’t move and they don’t say much. But each individual tree on this Earth works its butt off to provide oxygen and energy to the beings around it.
When a tree dies, most of us don’t even notice. But throughout its lifetime, it always provided sustenance and shade to others, unconditionally, without asking for something in return.
I want to be that tree.